Food News

Coming soon: Sydney’s Ragazzi team to open a one-stop shop for pasta, sauces and guanciale

After the controlled chaos of rolling out their take-home pasta kits during lockdown, the team can now devote time and space to opening Fabbrica, a mini pasta factory and retail store.
Nikki to

It’s a pasta-extruder city at Fabbrica. The team behind Sydney’s Ragazzi are about to open their mini pasta factory and retail shop in the CBD, and they have the luxury of space in which to install their shiny industrial kitchen toys.

“We’ve got mixers that are so big they come up to my shoulder,” says co-owner Matthew Swieboda. There are three La Monferrina pasta extruders in place: two will churn out spaghetti and rigatoni and other shapes, long and short while the third will be dedicated to making gluten-free pasta.

Like many restaurants across the country, Ragazzi had to rethink their business model during the March lockdown. They quickly rolled out a line of cook-at-home fresh pastas and sauces, but the struggles of turning a tiny wine-bar kitchen into a proper production kitchen were very real.

“Our chefs have really proven themselves to be excellent in such small spaces, but it’s nice to give them the opportunity to work with the equipment and space they deserve,” says Swieboda.

The space means the chefs, including Ragazzi’s Scott McComas-Williams, can produce their own sausages, cure their own guanciale and pancetta, and bake their own bread and pastries. It’s a production kitchen, with pasta and smallgoods to be used on Ragazzi’s menu, though products will also be available for retail sale.

From left: Fabricca co-owners Matthew Swieboda, Scott McComas-Williams, Cam Birt and Nathanial Hatwell.

(Photo: Nikki To)

Fabbrica – Italian for “factory” – is located in a basement-level venue under the fashion store Acne and it’s a pasta-lover’s fantasy land, representing all the shapes and sizes of pasta from across Italy. As well as extruder-made pastas, there might be hand-rolled egg-based tonnarelli and farfalle; hand-shaped trofie and pici; and, McComas-William’s favourite, agnolotti dal plin. Fresh pastas will be available by the gram; some will be pre-packaged to buy off the shelf.

“Like the menu at Ragazzi, the shape of the offering will constantly change with the seasons or the restless moods of the chefs making them,” McComas-Williams said in a statement.

There’s other essential jigsaw pieces to complete the pasta puzzle: cheeses (Parmigiano-Reggiano for those inclined towards north Italian flavours, three to four varieties of pecorino for the southerners), olive oil, and tinned tomatoes and anchovies; as well as eggs, Tipo 00 flour and semolina for those who prefer to go the DIY pasta route.

With city workers currently making do from their home offices, the CBD might not seem the wisest of places to launch a business, but Swieboda says there’s still sufficient foot traffic to warrant this new project.

“It may not be in the same volume as it was a year ago, but there are still more people in here than in any of the neighbourhoods around the city,” he says.

He points to the lack of quality grocery options in the area. “It’s a very underserviced part of the city. There’s very little in the way of food retail beyond the David Jones food hall.”

If anything, Fabbrica is made for the pandemic age. “People are rediscovering the joy of cooking and entertaining at home. We’re giving them the opportunity to do that while still eating restaurant-quality food.”

Fabbrica is set to open in late September, 2020 at 161 King Street, Sydney, NSW

Follow up on Instagram @ciaofabbrica for updates.

Related stories