Since its January 2020 opening, Manteca, the buzzy Italian restaurant in Shoreditch, has become a pandemic success story, thanks in large part to co-founder and chef Chris Leach’s undeniablly delicious pasta recipes.
Receiving attention from nearly every London-based food publication, Manteca’s hand-rolled pasta and nose-to-tail meat cuts put their stamp on the London food scene at time when the hospitality industry’s prospects looked bleak.
Fast forward to today, and those who just can’t get enough of Manteca’s savoury dishes, but who also can’t get a table at the hugely popular spot, are in luck. These simple recipes from the mastermind himself will satisfy your cravings and let you enjoy some Manteca classics from your own dining table.
Tagliatelle with wild garlic sauce
For the wild garlic sauce:
200g wild garlic
50g olive oil
For the tagliatelle:
Wild garlic sauce
Pinch chilli flakes
Black pepper to taste
Wash the wild garlic. Put a large pot of water on to boil and season generously with salt.
Blanch the wild garlic for 2 minutes, drain and blend with the oil into a smooth paste.
Cook the pasta to your liking, when ready, drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water.
In a pan, heat the butter, add the wild garlic sauce and toss the pasta in this sauce adding a little pasta water if necessary. Add a squeeze of lemon and taste adjusting the seasoning and lemon until it tastes good to you.
When the pasta is sauced, divide among two plates and sprinkle with dried chilli flakes, a few cracks of black pepper and grate some parmesan over each plate to finish.
Tonnarelli cacio e pepe
20g freshly ground black pepper – or use a mix of peppercorns – black, pink, even szechwan
60g grated Pecorino Romano plus more to finish
200g tonnarelli or spaghetti
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Salt until the water tastes highly seasoned – but not like the sea! Cook according to the packet instructions or a couple of minutes for fresh pasta.
Start the sauce a few minutes before the pasta is ready. Toast the black pepper in a dry pan until fragrant but do not let it burn about a minute. Add the butter and a big ladle full of pasta water and let boil together until emulsified.
Add the pasta to the boiling emulsification with the cheese. Toss rapidly until well combined and all the pasta is coated add a little squeeze of lemon juice. Divide the pasta among two plates and grate more fresh pecorino over the top and a last grind of fresh pepper.
Strozzapreti alla norcina
200g strozzapreti or similar short pasta
25ml olive oil
100g pork sausage
1 garlic clove
75ml dry white wine
50ml double cream
15g preserved black truffle
60g grated parmesan
1 small black truffle (if using)
In a pan, heat the oil, crush the garlic clove and break up the sausage into small chunks and get some colour on the sausage. When the sausage is cooked, remove the garlic clove and add white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and preserved truffle and put on a gentle simmer.
Cook the pasta to just under your liking and add to the sauce, turn the heat up slightly and toss the pasta with the cheese until fully coated.
Plate the pasta over two bowls and finish with fresh truffle if using.