The incredible adobo gremolata, plus 13 new pasta dishes from Linguini Fini
MANILA, Philippines – Some folks say that eating noodles on one’s birthday is a toast to a long, prosperous life. Pasta experts at Linguini Fini, then, must be heeding this tale with joy. Linguini Fini is celebrating its first anniversary in the Philippines.
Fittingly, they have just rolled out 14 new pasta dishes with ingredients that pay homage to Filipino and American-Italian classics. They now offer 22 pastas in total, in portions great for sharing or even for humongous appetites.
Their pastas are homemade and fresh, painstakingly kneaded and prepared daily before they are boiled to al dente perfection. They serve 7 kinds: linguini fini, spaghetti, linguini, fettucine, papardelle, fusilli, and rigati.
Originally from Hong Kong’s vibrant gastronomic scene, Linguini Fini’s brand of New Yorker-Italian dining infuses its dishes with local flavors. In the pioneering Hong Kong branch, for instance, a porchetta-filled agnolotti dish draws inspiration from xiao long bao.
At the Manila outpost, which just turned one, this approach is executed in a similarly unique and fantastic way. (READ: Touring Linguini Fini and 5 Mega Fashion Hall restaurants)
Here are some of the new pastas we sampled:
Linguini adobo gremolata (Lite – P 165; Regular – P 280; Grand – P 405)
Spectacularly tangy and sour, the linguini adobo gremolata is a nod to an all-time Filipino favorite, and captures its spirit, too. Filipino cuisine is known for bold and rich flavors, but so is Italian cooking. This is why adobo is perfect for a pasta dish.
There are salted egg bits, which introduce a w salty punch to the palate. The cherry tomatoes and gremolata (an herb condiment) give it a distinct, vinegar-like acidity, and the latter adds an herby taste. The adobo is rendered as crispy flakes – a superb textural counterpoint to the sauce smothered over the pasta.
LF porchetta (Lite – P 275; Regular – P 495; Grand – P 730)
Olive oil and the porchetta’s juices are slathered over the feather-light and thin linguini fini pasta. Chunks of the crispy and succulent roast pork are heaped over it.
Light and heavy – contrast is the highlight here, and in the LF porchetta, less is definitely more.
Salumi & mushrooms fusilli (Lite – P 240; Regular – P 390; Grand – P 580)
The twisted design of fusilli allows the sauce and smaller ingredients to fill the gaps of the pasta, which makes every bite of this salumi and mushrooms dish packed with flavor.
The salumi and mushrooms lend the dish full-bodied flavors, plus the roasted peppers give it a little spice. But the star of this pasta arguably is the savory and velvety brown butter finding its way through the spaces of the fusilli.
Birthday Bolognese (Lite – P 250; Regular – P 410; Grand – P 540)
A Filipino kid’s typical birthday bash isn’t complete without that bizarre yet unique sweet spaghetti, slathered with banana ketchup and topped with red hotdogs.
Linguini Fini makes us wax nostalgic with their refined take on our childhood favorite, which uses homemade sweet sausages, roasted garlic, and Grana Padano cheese. Here, the sweetness does not overwhelm; there’s only a hint of it, balancing out with a properly savory and chunky Bolognese sauce.
Nevertheless, Linguini Fini’s Birthday Bolognese evokes the one-of-a-kind spaghetti sauce we have grown up with – making it a classic in its own right.
As much as we would love to stuff ourselves, we could only take so much at the tasting. Here’s a look at the other new pastas, with the photos courtesy of Linguini Fini.
Baked ziti (Lite – P 250; Regular – P 410; Grand – P 540)
Bolognese, Mozzarella, and focaccia bread crumbs
Lamb rigati (Lite – P 225; Regular – P 405; Grand – P 595)
Lamb and sweet onion ragu
Spicy shrimp arrabbiata (Lite – P 245; Regular – P 435; Grand – P 650)
Chili pesto, roasted garlic, and cherry tomato
Fried Chicken Alfredo (Lite – P 280; Regular – P 535; Grand – P 785)
Chicken nuggets and parmigiano
Truffle shroom fettuccine (Lite – P 280; Regular – P 535; Grand – P 785)
Shiitake mushroom, truffle, and porcini
Roasted pepper & shrimp linguini (Lite – P 250; Regular – P 410; Grand – P 540)
Cream, fresh herbs
Linguini vongole (Lite – P 260; Regular – P 390; Grand – P 520)
Pancetta, parsley, wine, and clams
Calamari linguini nero (Lite – P 225; Regular – P 405; Grand – P 595)
Garlic, onion, and pickled chili
Longganisa linguini (Lite – P 195; Regular – P 345; Grand – P 515)
Local sausage, chili leaves, and Pecorino Romano
Pesto pancetta fusilli (Lite – P 260; Regular – P 390; Grand – P 520)
Cherry tomatoes, basil, crushed garlic, oil, and Parmigiano
Which pastas are you planning to order the next time you’re in Linguini Fini? Tell us about your choices in the comments below.– Rappler.com
Linguini Fini is located at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. It is open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM. Contact (+63 2) 531-3302 or (+63 917) 834-1493 for reservations and inquiries.
Paolo Abad is a film/television editor and motion graphic designer. He is also a self-confessed concert junkie. Follow his Instagram for live music @outoftunephoto