Manteca, London: Three pasta recipes to try at home if you can’t get a reservation

SSince opening in January 2020, Manteca, Shoreditch’s bustling Italian restaurant, has become a pandemic success story, thanks in large part to co-founder and chef Chris Leach’s undeniably delicious pasta recipes.

Receiving the attention of almost every London-based food publication, Manteca’s hand-rolled pasta and nose-to-tail cuts of meat have made their mark on the London food scene at a time when prospects for the hospitality industry looked bleak.

Fast forward to today, and those who just can’t get enough of Manteca’s tasty dishes, but also can’t get a table at the hugely popular spot, are in luck. These simple recipes from the brain itself will satisfy your cravings and allow you to enjoy Manteca classics from your own dining table.

Tagliatelle with wild garlic sauce

This is the perfect recipe for the start of wild garlic season

(Manteca)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

For the wild garlic sauce:

200g wild garlic

50g olive oil

For the tagliatelle:

200g tagliatelle

20g of butter

Wild garlic sauce

½ lemon

Pinch of chilli flakes

Black pepper to taste

Grated parmesan

Method:

Wash wild garlic. Bring a large pot of water to boil and season generously with salt.

Blanch the wild garlic for 2 minutes, drain and mix with the oil into a smooth paste.

Cook the pasta to your liking, when ready, drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.

In a saucepan, heat the butter, add the wild garlic sauce and mix the pasta in this sauce, adding a little pasta water if necessary. Add a squeeze of lemon and taste, adjusting seasoning and lemon until good for you.

When the pasta is in sauce, divide between two plates and sprinkle with dried pepper flakes, a few black peppercorns and grate Parmesan on each plate to finish.

Tonnarelli cacio e pepe

(Manteca)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

20g freshly ground black pepper – or use a mix of peppercorns – black, pink, even szechwan

40g of butter

60g grated Pecorino Romano and more to finish

200g tonnarelli or spaghetti

2 lemon

Method:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt until the water tastes very tangy – but not like the sea! Cook according to packet instructions or a few minutes for fresh pasta.

Start the sauce a few minutes before the pasta is ready. Toast the black pepper in a dry skillet until fragrant, but don’t let it burn for about a minute. Add the butter and a large ladle of cooking water and boil until emulsified.

Add the pasta to the boiling emulsion with the cheese. Mix quickly until well blended and all the pasta is coated, add a little lemon juice. Divide the pasta between two plates and grate more fresh pecorino on top and a final grind of fresh pepper.

Strozzapreti alla norcina

This recipe is easy to adapt at home: you can use any type of sausage and make it with or without truffles

(Manteca)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

200g strozzapreti or similar short pasta

25ml olive oil

100g pork sausage

1 clove of garlic

75ml dry white wine

50ml double cream

15 g candied black truffle

60g grated parmesan

1 small black truffle (if using)

Method:

In a skillet, heat the oil, crush the garlic clove and break the sausage into small pieces and brown the sausage. When the sausage is cooked, remove the garlic clove and add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and the candied truffle and simmer gently.

Cook the pasta to just below your taste and add to the sauce, increase the heat slightly and toss the pasta with the cheese until completely coated.

Arrange the pasta over two bowls and finish with fresh truffles if using.