Nov 16, 2011

The Pasta at HaPizza ("The Pizza")

I was hesitant to get pasta while eating out since my absolutely amazing experience at Piccola Pasta (see blog post).  I thought, “Well, no one can do it better than they did… and if I’m going to get pasta at a restaurant in Tel Aviv, I should get it at Piccola Pasta!” 

But during my first visit to HaPizza (51 Bograshov, Tel Aviv), the pasta options were too appealing to deny.  I had to ask the (incredibly sweet and friendly) waitress to make a recommendation between four pasta dishes I was considering! Thankfully, I was with three other people, so I still got to try four pasta dishes (none of us could resist the allure of the restaurant’s pastas, despite the fact that the restaurant’s name means “The Pizza”).

While the pasta wasn’t quite as heavenly as the pasta I got at Piccola Pasta (where I got pasta with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and garlic topped with cream sauce and parmesan cheese), it certainly held its own.  I ordered the papperdelle with artichoke and a rosé sauce topped with basil and chives.  The tomato-based sauce was perfectly creamy and was complimented beautifully by the gently aromatic basil and mild onion flavor of the chives.  The artichokes gave everything a nice tangy flavor and gave texture to the dish of satisfying homemade papperdelle.

Papperdelle with artichoke, basil, and chives with rosé sauce

Two of the people eating with me also had dishes with homemade papperdelle.  One had ordered a dish with artichokes, zucchini, garlic, butter, basil, and parsley, with a spicy tomato sauce.  The dish was simple and rustic, combining the earthy flavors of zucchini and basil with the sharper flavors of artichoke and garlic.  The butter melted away into the light tomato sauce of the dish, which was not as spicy as expected.  Nevertheless, it gave the dish an added kick.

Papperdelle with artichokes, zucchini, garlic, butter, basil, and parsley with a spicy tomato sauce

The other papperdelle dish included asparagus, tomato-butter, and parmesan.  The sauce was slightly different than the rosé sauce on my pasta—it had a slightly spicer element to it that gave each bite a touch of heat.  The pasta, covered in creamy, warm sauce, had us all stealing bites throughout the meal.

Papperdelle with asparagus, tomato-butter, and parmesan with rosé sauce

The final pasta dish on the table was different than the others: it was comprised of ravioli. Spinach-ricotta ravioli with rosé sauce, to be precise.  Like all the other dishes, it was fantastic.  The homemade raviolis were generouslly filled with spinach and ricotta and had a fulfulling sharp cheesy flavor, tempered by the gentle rosé sauce, in each bite.

Spinach-ricotta ravioli with rosé sauce

We left the restaurant filled by the delicious homemade pasta.  Even so, I couldn’t help but feel that I should have tried the food the restaurant is named for: pizza. And so, my list of restaurants in Tel Aviv to return to grows longer.

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