If there’s one thing we Mancs seem to love, it’s an Italian. We have so many of them – even away from the chains, there are a number of independents doing it so well, and each a little differently to the other. Some specialise in regional cooking, some in simplicity, others hearty Italian food.
The Pasta Factory promises authentic Italian food. Not only in it’s fresh pastas made on site, and plates, but it’s deli range is extensive, and features some rather delicious vegan options too.
We were, on our visit recently, no strangers to their dishes – after all, as shoppers through the Food Assembly, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy their pesto (it’s the best we’ve ever had, and I don’t say that lightly), sauces and pasta.
But whilst these are delicious, there’s still no substitute for the full experience, which is why we found ourselves on a chilly evening, snuggling into a corner at the restaurant at Shudehill.
The set up, is relatively simple, and to be fair, it doesn’t need to be plush. If you’re going to The Pasta Factory, you’re there for the food, not soft lighting, or fancy tableware. For me, it’s reminiscent of little independents visited by me and my parents when I was tiny – family run, everyone catered for, cheeks pinched by someone’s Nonna before you left.
Hungry, as ever, we dove into olives and bread to begin with. Soft rich foccacia, warmed coarse bread, fat green olives (I love good olives) and olive oil that soon disappeared under assault from our bread filled fingers.
For our mains, we tried to be a little less ravenous. Mr GFB’s mushroom and truffle ravioli selected from the specials menu was rich, earthy and satisfying. The waft of truffle as it was passed over to him almost had me insisting on a swap. But I managed to resist.
And I was awfully glad I did.
Wild clams, squid ink pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes, chilli and parsley. It’s a classic, and this was a bloody good version of it. Possibly the best I’ve had. But I’ll have to have it again, you know to check. Be certain.
Though we were edging towards stuffed, full, there was a dessert on the menu I just couldn’t resist.
I don’t often go for a chocolate dessert, but this beauty was calling my name. Ravioli filled with almonds and Amaretti biscuits, served warm with an orange cream and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts.
It’s a bit tasty.
I lie, it’s bloody gorgeous. Creamy, light, zesty, with nutty undertones, and rich chocolate. It somehow managed that beautiful balance between hearty and light. I don’t know how it did it, but it did.
OK, I know, I’m a little bit in love with this place. And I know, I’m kind of making it harder for me to book in by telling you about it. But, I can’t not tell you how good it is.
Because, well, it is.
All the food and drink consumed in this blog post were paid for by ourselves.