Csp 2892

It was a lovestruck olive oil trader from Liguria who first put the family name on this deli near King’s Cross in the Fifties – returning after the war to marry the owner’s daughter. Today, the fourth-generation have made it not just a mecca for the Italian community but also those in search of the motherland’s best-tasting food and drink.
Joe Gazzano is cheeky, chirpy and knowledgeable as he gestures towards the abundant range of ingredients in his store on the Farringdon Road. They have scamorza cheese from Naples, bottarga (cured mullet roe) and cotechino cured sausage. The list of different pastas could stretch along the Amalfi coast and back again – from tiny, soup-worthy Anellini to thick, long Ziti which are served at Sicilian weddings. Ideal if you are cooking an authentic dish, and will accept no missing detail.

The fresh pasta arrives from Italy once a week on a Tuesday with a range of seasonal fillings. The pumpkin we tried had an incredibly earthy yet sweet taste – eaten with just a dusting of grated cheese. The newly launched own-brand pasta sauces are a hit too – lining the walls along with pantry staples. The olive oils are now from the original family supplier, rekindling the love affair once more. The lunchtime crowd jostles at the long glass counter for their toasted paninis – and most pick up a measure of mozzarella, provelone or pecorino too. The canon of cured meats pays perfect homage – including Parma ham from the president of the consortium. Fine wines and pretty chocolates make ideal presents, even if only to yourself. JW.

Csp 2892

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