In 1994 Matt Picone and his father Peter opened a small takeaway shop in Sydney called Picone’s Pasta Pronta. They imported a pasta machine from Italy and made pasta in front of their customers. The shop thrived, but just three years later, at age 54, Peter suddenly passed away. Picone subsequently sold the family business and went to work at Pellegrini’s, where he stayed for 19 years.
In part, Pentolina is a tribute to Picone’s father, who emigrated from the Italian region of Puglia to Sydney in 1960. His picture is on the coasters and menus. Burgundy and brass finishes adorn the space, which has terrazzo floors, a burgundy-grain marble benchtop and “Pellegrini’s-inspired” bar stools.
The menu is built around homemade pastas made using just two ingredients – water and durum-wheat semolina flour. Antipasti might include a classic caprese salad, rice and Grana Padano croquettes and prosciutto with rock melon. And there’s spaghetti vongole (with clams), and conchiglie salsiccia (shell pasta with pork and fennel sausage) with crisp cauliflower and rosemary. The Fettuccine Pentolina comes with prawns, scallops and roe in a saffron cream sauce. Gluten-free pasta is available for $2 extra.
On the cocktail list you’ll find Nonna’s Garden, with limoncello base with raspberries, vodka and mint. The Godfather is a blend of Monkey Shoulder scotch, amaretto, fresh lime and orange.