For the last few years carbohydrates have been getting an increasingly hard time. First there was the Atkins diet and then followed a miserable line of carb bashing regimes from the Dukan to the Paleo. It feels like the only time enjoying a bowl of pasta is socially acceptable is the night before a marathon.We don't agree. Carbs are beautiful complicated creatures that deserve to be devoured. And what better way to enrage a 5:2 bore than to settle down at one of the best fresh pasta restaurants in London?
Luckily fresh pasta is having something of a moment in London, just look at how many people are trying to get through the doors of new openings Luca and Padella. Here is our pick of London's best purveyors.
Padella Pasta - Borough Market
Since opening Trullo on Highbury Corner, Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda have been considered masters of pasta. Their new offering Padella achieves the same perfect harmony of excellent flavours, simple ingredients and reasonable prices, as well as the opportunity to sit around the central bar and watch the chefs deftly roll little cigars of pasta whilst you sip an Aperol Spritz.
Everything from the 8 hour beef shin ragu to the sausage papperdelle is delicious - and don't think it beneath you to order the simple tomato spaghetti. You won't believe the flavours in there.
Padella, 6 Southwark St, Greater London, SE1 1TQ.
Burro e Salvia - Shoreditch
Burro e Salvia are all about the ritual of families making simple delicious pasta together. Visit their restaurants in East Dulwich or Shoreditch for parcels of cardinali pasta filled with gorgonzola, ricotta and pear or their Pappardelle with pork ribs ragu.
They also run workshops where you can learn from their Sfogline - that means pasta maker - all about the secret art.
Burro e Salvia, 52 Redchurch St, London, United Kingdom E2 7DB.
Luca - Clerkenwell
A new opening from the geniuses behind The Clove Club (26th best restaurant in the world) was always going to mean a table worth dining at. Luca is just that with its elegant but laid back interiors and a "Britalian" menu that fuses local ingredients with classic Italian staples. Think Spaghettini with Morecambe Bay shrimp and Garganelli with pork sausage, tomato, and anchovy. All perfectly balanced flavours and worryingly difficult to tear yourself away from.
Luca, 88 St.John Street London, EC1M 4EH
Lina Stores - Soho
The 1950s ceramic storefront to this family deli is every bit as charming as the service and food. Select perfectly al dente ravioli with porchini or little postage stamps filled with proscuitto cotto and parmesan.
You can also stock up and impress dinner party guests with their range of filled pastas that includes walnut and gorgonzola, and pumpkin and amaretti.
Lina Stores, 18 Brewer St, London W1F 0SH.
La Famiglia - Chelsea
La Famiglia have been serving their classic Italian menu for 51 years to a dedicated following that even includes Mr Mick Jagger himself. Their extensive pasta menu boasts 13 choices including pappardelle with a wild boar, linguini with fresh lobster, tomato and garlic sauce and rigatoni with Gorgonzola. For the indecisive amongst us there's even "fantasia di pasta", a choice of three types of pasta and sauces. Molto bene!
La Famiglia, 7 Langton Street, Chelsea, London SW10 0JL
Pastifico - Covent Garden
Another trip to add to your pasta bucket list: the deli next to (and ran by) Angela Hartnett's Michelin Starred restaurant Cafe Murano. This 'pastificio', or pasta factory, creates daily fresh linguine, pumpkin ravioli and heavenly balls of hand rolled gnocchi.
Their house pestos are a treat to take home with you and the wine collection is also worth delving into.
Cafe Murano: Pastifico, 36 Tavistock St, London, WC2E 7PB.
La Tua Pasta - Borough Market
Suppliers to hotels, caterers and supermarkets, La Tua Pasta have become a wholesale retailer who have maintained their obsession with excellence. Pick up their pasta in Selfridges or have it delivered to your front door.
Their stall at Borough Market is always packed with punters trying samples of their gnocci in tomato sauce and buying up their wild boar ravioli.
La Tua Pasta, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL.