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Photo by Nikki To

Scott McComas-Williams is undoubtably, one of Sydney's best chefs. His restaurant Ragazzi is always fully booked and as executive chef, he is responsible for the extremely delicious menu on offer as well as the impressive range of hand-made pastas, sauces, focaccia (and more) at his new specialty pasta shop Fabbrica. We were intrigued to know his take on an effortless menu, for whether he was entertaining for guests or cooking for his gorgeous little family at home. A menu that masters the art of simplicity, yet doesn't for a second compromise on taste. This is a taste of Ragazzi from the comfort of your home.


To begin
Stracciatella, anchovies, piquillo peppers, chilli oil
LP’s saucisson sec
Fabbrica sourdough

Main course
Vela, sardines, fermented chili
Cabbage, radicchio, pepitas

Cheese plate to end
            Section 28’s Monte Rosso
La Tur
            Valserena Parmigiano Reggiano 36 month
Stracciatella, anchovies, piquillo peppers, chilli oil
This is a cracking quick starter that will always impress your guests and the best part is, everything is all ready to go so you can spend more at the table and less in the kitchen! 
1 tub Vanella Stracciatella
1 tin Cantabrian anchovies (either Angelachu or Olosagasti are my pick)
4 pieces piquillo peppers (Spanish tinned roasted red peppers)
Chilli oil
Scoop out the Stracciatella onto a plate – sometimes there will be a little excess water in the tub so be sure not to add that to the plate. Season with a sprinkle of sea salt. Using your hands, gently rip the peppers into strips, roughly the size of the anchovies. Layer the peppers and anchovies randomly over the Stracciatella and generously douse in chilli oil. Serve sourdough on the side.
LP’s saucisson sec (or another small gauge cured salami)
Be sure to slice this thick – it’s the only way – and arrange on a plate. Let your guests use their hands to help themselves.
Vela pasta, sardines, fermented chilli
I bloody love sardines in pasta, or in any form really, and they’re especially goo this time of year. Buy them pre-butterflied to save yourself the hassle and mess of cleaning them yourself! You’ll want to start this recipe a week beforehand to give the chillis time to ferment. This recipe makes far more fermented chilli than you need but it is a great thing to have in your fridge so make as much as you can! The heat really backs off during the fermentation and you get a much more rounded chilli flavour. You can still use fresh chilli but you won’t get the same depth of flavour. Or look for a high quality jarred version in your local Asian grocer.

Serves 4:
1kg long red chillis
5 cloves garlic, peeled
30g salt
Olive oil
8 butterflied sardine fillets
2 anchovies
500g vela pasta
½ cup white wine
1 small handful of green olives, pitted and very roughly chopped
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped
1 tblsp unsalted butter
1 small handful of pangratatto
Remove tops from chillis and roughly chop.
Place in a food processor with salt and garlic and blitz to make a rough paste.
Put the mix in a clean jar or bucket with a lid and sit at room temp for a week.
After a week, give the chilli a mix and blitz it again. 
Get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta.
In a large pan on high heat (big enough for all the pasta and sauce), heat up a good whack of olive oil and sear your sardine fillets skin side down, season the flesh with a touch of sea salt whilst it is cooking. Add your anchovies to the pan too. 
Give it a minute before adding 3 healthy tablespoons of the fermented chilli, stir to break up the flesh of the fish and stop the chilli from burning. Deglaze with wine. 
Now, drop your pasta in the water and cook for 3 minutes. When pasta is ready, add straight from the pot. Allow a little of the cooking water to join in with the sauce and toss your olives in.
Drop the heat to medium and let it tick over for at least a minute before adding parsley. The sauce should start to tighten up. Add butter, drop the heat to low and toss the pan until the butter melts and the sauce becomes coating consistency whilst still a little wet. Use the pasta water to adjust the sauce if you need. Season with sea salt to taste and plate across four plates. Add an extra lick of olive oil and a sprinkle of pangratatto over each bowl.

Sauce also available from Fabbrica and ALEX AND TRAHAHAS here.
Cabbage, radicchio, pepitas
Put together a quick and light salad to serve of sweet cabbage, bitter radicchio and crunchy pepitas to cut through and complement the meal. 
¼ small cabbage, thinly sliced
½ small radicchio, thinly sliced
1 handful picked mint
2 tbsp. pepitas, lightly toasted in a pan over low heat or in a 170C oven for 10 minutes
20mL lemon juice
20mL Nadal vinegar (late harvest cava grape vinegar)
40mL extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Place all the leaves and pepitas in a large bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil long with a good sprinkle of sea salt. Combine everything together and serve.
Cheese notes:
Section 28’s Monte Rosso.
Cow’s milk.
Inspired by the Italian great, taleggio, this Adelaide Hills cheese is one of my favourites. It’s a semi-soft washed rind that has a sweet, creamy paste that isn’t too funky. Serve some fresh pear, muscatels or other dried fruit and bread or a light cracker.
La Tur.
Cow, goat, sheep.
This is a Piemontese beauty that takes its unique characteristics from the fact it’s made from three different animal milks. It is creamy and buttery whilst still offering a little acid courtesy of the goat’s milk and a little funkiness from it’s wrinkly white mould rind. Wait until it is nice and ripe before you crack into it, at room temperature you’ll be able to spread it straight onto a piece of crusty bread. 
Valserena Parmigiano Reggiano 36 months.
This is a serious Parmigiano. You won’t need much to give your cheese plate a real boost. It is a rare cheese, made exclusively from brown cows by a fifth generation cheese making family. They’re one of the last “full circle” producers of Parmigiano Reggiano, meaning they still raise, feed and milk the cows as well as make and age the cheese all at the same farm. Eat in small portions on it’s own or with a little quince paste or balsamic (make sure you use the real stuff).
Buon appetito!