Germany and Hungary have spaetzle, Greece have the orzo, Poland have their pierogi and China have their noodles. Pasta can be considered a comfort food for many countries, but pasta’s home lies passionately in Italy.
“The way I conceive modern pasta is its adaptation to global culture. Recipes with clear roots with various unexpected twists.”
Leonardo Masi, the owner of Pasta Lovers, is a strong volcano of energy and ideas. He moved from Florence to London in 2019, with suitcases of passion and determination.
“Before arriving in London, I worked in the restaurant business. I was not born a pasta maker, nor had I skilled teachings or traditions from my family, but I love flours and all that can be created with it. When I arrived in London, it felt natural to explore different opportunities. Pasta was perfect and Mercato Metropolitano was looking for a young pasta maker.”
“I didn’t just start making pasta. I attended professional classes, I studied a lot and I looked for the best and genuine ingredients in the UK and Italy. My pasta is a simple food. Flour and water can truly make something perfect.”
Over time, Leonardo’s formula to pasta changed.
“At the beginning, we enjoyed letter customers create their own pasta recipe, choosing their own toppings and sauces. It was fun, and we had many weird mixes, and although I’m not strict with traditional recipes, it wasn’t the best way for people to enjoy Italian pasta, traditionally. We wanted to educate people on traditional ways to taste a recipe with personal twists they can add. We decided to have basic matches such as raviolo with butter and sage, and fettuccine with bolognese sauce. This way, customers have authentic experiences of Italian food with a personal twist. This is the power of pasta. It’s a simple food with a millennial soul that is not scared of change, but appreciative of tradition.
“Of course the tortellone with shrimps and orange tastes amazing, just like the truffle sauce on top of the gnocchi, but over the years you learn that people were more in love with genuine raviolo with ricotta and spinach, or the super classic with bolognese sauce. I would never say I am better than other pasta makers in London, I only try my best to bring people together around honest and genuine food.”
“Well it’s not traditionally Italian, but that’s the point. Pasta can be made so many ways, the heart loves the traditional recipes but the new variations are just as good in the right setting with the same passion.”
Miracles of food are a blessing for those who love the mix of cultures and the evolution of history.
You can find Leonardo Masi and his Pasta Lovers in every Mercato Metropolitano site across London. With an incredible team full of enthusiasm and knowledge, we truly believe it is the best pasta in London.
MM is inviting people, companies and policymakers across London, the UK and the world to join the movement to change food culture in the country. This is an open invitation for people who believe in:
Healthy, sustainable, living food made with rural, artisanal practices
Supply chains that prioritise quality over price and make good, healthy food available
The importance of community in cities across the world, starting with London