Like it or not, for the past few months staying in has been the new going out. And while March saw me stocking up on cook books and slinking around the kitchen à la Nigella Lawson, three months later the novelty of it all had worn off. After night four of baked potatoes and what's-in-the-fridge-omelettes, I decided that I needed an intervention and I needed it fast - luckily the guys at Nonna Tonda were more than happy to answer my desperate call.
Founded by husband and wife team James and Rebecca, Nonna Tonda was born from a six-week road trip around Italy hunting down the creamiest, freshest and tastiest pasta they could find - adapting dishes along the way in various Airbnb kitchens. Back on home soil and with a craving for all things carby, the duo decided to open up their very own Italian-inspired spot, going on to launch a London-based pasta delivery service just before lockdown hit.
The concept? Restaurant-worthy pasta dishes plucked from all regions of Italy that can be cooked and enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Offering weekly-changing recipes, a rolling subscription service and nifty packages that fit through your letterbox, it’s also a no brainer.
On the menu for us, squid ink spaghetti with braised cuttlefish, wild fennel & pangrattato, along with the veggie option of orecchiette with Romano courgette, garlic, basil and chilli oil. Your bog-standard M&S spaghetti carbonara, this ain’t.
Hand-delivered by a smiley chap named Toby, our boxes could be stowed away in the fridge for 48 hours or popped in the freezer ready for a later date. At the sight of those silky ribbons though? We decided to dig in ASAP. And luckily, we didn’t have to wait long at all, from opening up our box to twirling our forks, the whole process took less than 15 minutes.
First up was the inky black spaghetti - made from water, coarse semolina and squid ink and cooked to al dente (as per the instructions), the tangled noodles were hefty and hearty, and the perfect vessels for the slow-cooked cuttlefish to cling to. The pièce de résistance? A sprinkle of pangrattato (breadcrumbs baked with rosemary and garlic) and a dash of wild fennel - which elevated the dish to a whole new level of at-home cuisine.
Don’t despair if you're not of the fishy inclination though, the veggies were well catered for with an oh-so-creamy dish that originated in Puglia. Fresh orecchiette that scooped up tiny slices of sweet courgette and was lashed with chilli oil and some of the best parmesan I’ve ever locked my lips around. Comfort food Nirvana? I think I may have found it.
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For those looking to upgrade their at-home game, Nonna Tonda offers the perfect solution. You get all the satisfaction of cooking yourself but can rest safe in the knowledge that the end result will have you drooling for days after. The good news? You won’t have to wait too long before the next delivery lands on your doormat.
Nonna Tonda's pasta delivery service is available in London and boxes for two people start at £6.25 per person. Looking for more carby inspo? Check out our guide on where to eat pasta in London here.