“Let’s take a tour of Italy!” shouted D. We got in the car and shortly after we were sitting at a table on pedestrian-only Valaoritou. “You know how much I love Italian cuisine,” she added. “It’s great to be able to travel to Tuscany and Sicily, even in a virtual way.” I knew what she meant. La Pasteria, which is where we were sitting, provides the opportunity for such trips, albeit on a culinary level. The team of chefs is constantly trying authentic recipes and putting together menus from different regions, in a gustatory version of the Giro d’Italia. At the moment, it’s the turn of Sardinia.
As we watched passers-by outside the brand new La Pasteria (it’s been open for hardly two weeks), we enjoyed a refreshing salad with marinated tuna fillet dressed in a light vinaigrette of orange marmalade and balsamic vinegar, perfectly fried breaded fillets of European hake served with an orange and lemon sauce, as well as crunchy bruschette with different-colored sautéed peppers and cheese mousse. Naturally, we then moved on to the pasta. Delicious pappardelle with ragout of duck, slowly cooked in the oven for three hours (further enhanced by a hint of cumin) and bavette (very similar to linguine) with a sprinkling of botargo, lemon zest, olive oil and garlic, which is the original Sardinian recipe, although we would have preferred a little less lemon.
“Life is a combination
of magic and pasta.”
– Federico Fellini,
Italian film director
For our main courses we ordered grilled lamb cutlets and a fillet of fresh sea bass accompanied by sautéed vegetables, a wonderfully light and aromatic dish. We finished with airy goat cheese mousse with crumbled cookies and balsamic marinated strawberries, exclaiming “Viva l’Italia!” Which is probably how you will react when the extremely polite waiting staff inform you that for the three dishes on the Sardinia menu you will be paying around 15 euros each.