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Pop-up: Fasta Pasta brings taste of Italy to town

As part of the new Limited Elle-Editions series, running from now till October, Fasta Pasta takes Cambridge Cookery diners on a culinary trip to Italy

Born out of a boyhood observation - that there was a gap in the fast food market for proper made-from-scratch pasta - Fasta Pasta is a collaboration between a pair of former Ely schoolmates, now fellow Cambridge foodies.

“The idea for Fasta Pasta came when we were about 15 years old and at school,” explains Rob X, who runs the venture with “best mate” Isaac X. “Isaac spotted back then that there was a gap in the market for ‘fast food’ pasta. That doesn't mean unhealthy junk food - just good fresh pasta that is readily available. Our mission is to make delicious fresh pasta more accessible to the public.”

Both still working full-time day jobs, Rob as a lawyer and Isaac as a biomedical scientist, the idea remained on the back burner till last year’s first lockdown gave the two time to hone their pasta-making skills, set up an Instagram account and test recipes on family and friends. By October, they were delivering Saturday night ‘finish at home’ pasta kits to a fast-growing customer list.

Fasta Pasta has just segued into a pop-up restaurant; having made its debut at Cambridge Cookery last month, it’s now on the Limited Elle-Editions roster for the venue, so will be returning regularly right through to autumn.

“We just love cooking and are passionate about good flavours,” adds Isaac. “Our focus is on flavour and letting everyone get their hands on fresh pasta because it is so much better than shop-bought. We want to make it more accessible and not something that is reserved for fancy restaurants.”

As well as producing a wide range of pasta dishes, both saucy (beef shin ragu, classic carbonara, n'duja and mascarpone) and stuffed (Uncle Tony's culurgiones, garlic 'shroom tortellini), Fasta Pasta is known for its homemade sides (focaccia, arancini, caprese) and desserts, too (tiramisu, chocolate bombe, lemon tart). With a focus on showcasing locally sourced ingredients, with regular suppliers including Mill Road Butchers, Balzano's Deli and Culinaris, the dream is, adds Rob, “to go full time with a food van and, one day, open up a Fasta Pasta restaurant. . .”

See fastapastaco.com and @fastapastaco

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