Eating Out Dig into scrumptious pasta topped with a variety of sauces and cheese at ‘Celebrano la Pasta,' the Keys Hotel's ongoing pasta fete

When such a title as ‘Celebrano la Pasta,' which we're guessing is a take on the popular Italian phrase celebrando la vita (meaning, celebrate life), calls out to us, how can we not celebrate life by gorging on scrumptious pasta at the Keys Hotel's pasta festival?

Our order took a long time coming, but it turned out to be worth the wait. We started off with Spaghetti pomodoro, served with crispy garlic bread. It had the fresh flavour of homemade spaghetti and came topped with buffalo mozzarella and basil. The exotically creamy concoction was a great indulgence for the taste buds.

For non-vegetarians, Penne della casa made of fennel-smoked pancetta, chicken, and baby spinach, and smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce, is a great choice. All the pasta dishes on the menu come with a generous topping of parmesan and are drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Interesting combo

Who would have thought that pasta and vodka make a good combo? The fete's Penne alla vodka, made with sea food, chillies, and peas with a creamy tomato sauce infused with vodka is hands down the show-stopper of the festival! The vegetarian version of this pasta was equally appetising. We washed it down with frothy strawberry milkshake and cold coffee.

“The pasta dishes can be customised according to one's taste. Varieties of pasta such as spaghetti, penne or fusilli can be combined with sauces of one's choice such as pesto, arabiatta or creamy white sauce, and with different toppings and ingredients,” says Abhilash, the food and beverages manager of the hotel.

Other interesting items in the ‘pasta e basta' menu are risotto con pollo e funghi (slow-cooked Arborio rice with mushroom and parmesan cheese), spaghetti chitarra alla pescatora (with chilli and white wine sauce), and trofie al pesto (traditional twisted pasta with pesto, cream, and green beans). All pasta in the menu are cooked al dente (literally, ‘to the tooth'), meaning firm but not hard. And if one wants the pasta to be well-done (cooked well) it has to be specified along with the order. The pricing for the pasta, per portion varies between Rs.250 and Rs. 325.

“The pasta festival is a part of our international food promotion and there seems to be a keen number of takers for this cuisine in the city. We've tried to stay as close as possible to the traditional values of Italian cuisine and mindful of the growing popularity of the cuisine among gourmands in the city, the idea of the pasta festival was derived,” says executive chef Bhaskar Mandava.

“The key factors for a tasty pasta dish largely depend on the shape of the pasta used in the appropriate sauce and the freshness of the pasta, and, of course, it must be loaded with the right kind of cheese,” he adds.

The pasta festival is on till March 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Contact: 8086079917. Bon Appétit.

Maithri Srikant