Spotlight On: Butta La Pasta
Self-trained Stephen Ogden recently opened his own Italian restaurant on London Road so we decided to have a quick chat over a huge bowl of pasta – Bellissimo!
Hi Stephen! Tell us how this all began.
In my mid-20s I really started to get into Italian food and I went to a lot of places serving dishes with tons of flavour using just a few simple ingredients. I spent a lot of time researching, cooking and most importantly tasting Italian food and there are thousands of brilliant pasta dishes that people in this country aren’t eating so I want to introduce those to people of Sheffield.
We can definitely get on board with that! And you’ve previously done pop-ups is that right?
Yep, we did monthly pop-ups at Heeley City Farm serving strictly vegetarian dishes but then we added meat and fish to the selection when we had our pop-ups at Heeley Institute just around the corner. We were getting positive feedback and I found myself thinking about cooking more than my previous job so me and my wife started looking for a premises and here we are! I think London Road is a really great location, especially from the foodie point of view.
Is the food on this menu the same as what you were serving at the pop-ups?
The menu you see now is an extension of what we were doing at the pop-ups. It’s going to change monthly and the dishes will vary depending on the season, for example, we have asparagus on at the moment which won’t be back until next year. Dessert-wise, we have lemon tart, pistachio loaf cake and our famous chocolate torte, all so good that we can’t take them off the menu! We also have homemade ice creams and sorbets,
And are the ingredients sourced locally?
Italian food is all about fresh ingredients so we source our dairy, seafood, fruit and veg from all over Yorkshire – this is a key part of Butta La Pasta’s MO. Select ingredients are imported to bring you an authentic home cooked meal.
So what does ‘Butta la Pasta’ mean?
It’s an Italian saying which means ‘throw in the pasta!’ so you might say it during a phone call to your mum on your way home or something. We like it because it’s quite casual and homely which fits in perfectly with our ethos.
Love that. What’s your all-time favourite Italian dish?
Soup! People generally don’t get excited about soup but I think it’s a great way of celebrating seasonal ingredients and in Italy it’s a big part of your typical family meal which is why you’ll always find a soup on our starters menu along with an antipasto platter. In terms of pasta, my favourite at the moment is Paccheri, it’s a big tubular shape and goes really well with a nice meaty sauce.
Will it always be BYOB?
We are going to apply for an alcohol license so we’ll have a small wine menu soon, a few reds, a few whites and Prosecco. Also a handful of simple cocktails.
WHAT TO ORDER
This won’t be of much use to you guys as the menu changes every month but at least you know for next year eh?
Octopus and potato salad £5.50
Braised baby octopus with jersey royal potatoes dressed with celery, shallots and parsley. Looks like it’s from another planet and tastes out of this world too.
Pappardelle with lamb ragu £10.50
Long thick pasta with slow roasted lamb, soffrito, white wine and rosemary with parmesan and mint. The kind of dish you intend to make at home but most likely won’t.
Lemon Tart £4.50
Lip-smackingly delicious and served with a dollop of cream for good measure. Exactly what you need after this meal to prevent you from slipping into a carb comedown.
Open Wednesdays to Sundays 5pm-late and they’re hoping to open up for lunch on the weekends soon too. Find them at 280 London Road and click here to check out their website.