Cooking and entertaining at home has hit peak popularity during the pandemic, and many Sydney venues have been forced to adapt. But the clever folks behind CBD pasta bar Ragazzi — namely Matthew Swieboda, Nathanial Hatwell (Love, Tilly Devine, Dear Sainte Éloise) and Scott McComas-Williams — are taking this shift in stride.
Following the success of Ragazzi's lockdown pasta kits, the team has launched Fabbrica Pasta Shop in the CBD. The retail space sells fresh pasta by the gram, sauces and smallgoods to help Sydneysiders create the perfect Italian feast at home.
Through a big glass window, you can watch the staff making pasta of all shapes and sizes, including rigatoni, egg farfalle, semolina pici (thick hand-rolled spaghetti) and gluten free varieties. Add on a sauce or two and you'll be able to whip up Ragazzi fan-favourites at home — such as spaghetti cacio e pepe and duck ragu over rye casarecce (short twisted pasta) — along with your own creations.
Other Italian items are also for sale, including a range of imported cheeses, house-cured meats, sausages, olive oil and flours. Plus tinned tomatoes, Cantabrian anchovies and fresh produce like biodynamic eggs and organic garlic. Alongside the pasta, breads are made in-house and paired with compound butter.
To complete your meal at home, bottles of mostly minimal-intervention Italian drops are on offer — big bottles, too. If your home bar is missing a jeroboam (five litres) of orange wine from Campania or a giant bottle of Campari, Fabbrica is the place to visit.
There is also a dine-in aspect to the space, with four outdoor high tables designed for snacking while you wait for your takeaway order. For this purpose, there is a daily sandwich (prosciutto and Holy Goat La Luna cheese, perhaps) and baked pasta option (maybe beef cheek and cavalo nero lasagne), plus arancini ($4 each), chicken liver parfait ($8), charcuterie and cheese, plus wines by the glass, coffee and a couple of classic Italian cocktails.
The space will also host regular pasta making, wine tasting and baking classes. You'll also start seeing Fabbrica products in other delis, butchers, grocers and markets around Australia, with Cameron Birt (Fino Foods) running the wholesale arm of the business. And the entire venue will be available for private bookings if you really want to treat your nearest and dearest.