There's something to be said for following your instincts. At least that has been the case with Tipo 00. "When I was thinking about opening my own restaurant, the main idea was that it should be somewhere that I would want to go two or three times a week," says Andreas Papadakis, chef and co-owner of the Melbourne CBD pasta bar. "I wanted it to be the sort of place that gets under your skin a little bit."
The former Vue de Monde chef seems to have achieved his goal, if constant crowds and critical acclaim are anything to go by. And as the recipes he shares here ("basically the entire pasta menu") show, it's Papadakis's blend of tradition, expert technique and a few modern flourishes from his fine-dining toolkit that have helped keep Tipo 00 full. "My approach is super-traditional in a way," he says.
"If you use beautiful stocks, good olive oil, good parmesan and of course good pasta, you're already going to have a good dish. If you buy the same things from the supermarket shelves, then you're just not going to get the same result."
So just how important is it to use fresh pasta? "Super-important," says Papadakis, "and it's a good idea to buy a pasta machine with extra attachments so that you can make your own rigatoni, as well as spaghetti and tagliolini. Of course, you can buy good-quality pasta as well, particularly if you're making the dishes using orecchiette and casarecce, because they can be difficult and time-consuming to make by hand, but it will always be better to use fresh pasta where you can."
Although Papadakis believes that sticking with tradition and simplicity is the best course of action when it comes to pasta, he says there are times when he tweaks a recipe with non-traditional ingredients such as smoked tomato, "perhaps because of my background in fine dining".
"My main thing with all these recipes is that they are dishes that I really like to eat," says Papadakis. "Basing a menu on what you like is the best starting point."
Recipes by Tipo 00:
Tipo 00, 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9942 3946, tipo00.com.au