Mattarello, a local artisan pasta company named for the rolling pin that Italians use to roll pasta, will be holding a pasta shop pop-up this Saturday, April 6 at Biondivino from 3-6 p.m. The menu will include nests of fresh pasta like tagliatelle, pappardelle, whole-wheat fettuccine, parsley-garlic tagliatelle, and bigoli for $4.50 each, as well as garganelli and orecchiette for $5 each.
There will also be bigger dishes like tortellini with brodo ($12) and lasagna with ragu ($9) to take and cook at home, as well as jars of freshly made ragu and tomato sauce for sale ($8 and $5 respectively).
Mattarello is a collaboration between John Pauley and his wife Anna Li. Pauley is a longtime chef, and the couple was enchanted by freshly made pasta during a trip to Bologna in 2008. Pauley was so inspired that he traveled back to the city to apprentice with pasta-makers for 3 1/2 months and learn the art of traditional Bolognese pasta-making, and then returned the next summer for six more weeks.
I was lucky enough to attend a dinner party the couple held at their house last weekend featuring some of their fantastic fresh pastas. I watched with awe at the speed in which Pauley deftly rolled out his pasta dough, formed the orecchiette ("little ears"), and chopped folded-up pasta sheets for tagliatelle (he uses a knife meant for chopping udon).
The finished pastas were perfectly al dente, and were doughy and flavorful, playing a starring role in the dish instead of just being a vehicle for sauce.
It's a good time for fans of fresh, local pasta: Yesterday Grub Street reported that Salumeria in the Mission will be selling fresh, by-the-pound pastas from the crew at Flour + Water. Both places are helmed by chef Thomas McNaughton, who coincidentally did his internship at La Folie during the time that Pauley was chef de cuisine there.