The buzz in LA about Uovo piqued my curiosity from the start because 1) I am Italian 2) I am obsessed with good food 3) Who doesn’t love homemade pasta? and 4) Uovo is on the westside in Santa Monica.
After traipsing through the center of the local Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, I found my seat at Uovo at their intimate countertop bar with a friendly hello from a good-looking Italian man. Half of the founding team of Uovo was born and raised in Italy, so I knew I would be getting the real deal – authentic and traditional dishes like I dreamed about from my travels to Italy.
As I watched my dishes being made and then served directly to my plate, I learned that the traditional handmade pasta is overnighted from their kitchen in Bologna, Italy. Before you get worried about the carbon footprint, know that the pasta is resting in the belly of a commercial passenger airplane that is already en route to LA.
My lunch indulgence began with Tortellini Crema di Parmigiano, handmade meat tortellini in cream of Parmigiano-Reggiano. This dish was creamy and sinful and by far my favorite pasta bites. I did not want to share it. Tagliatelle al Ragú was the second pasta, a better version of my favorite bolognese pasta but made in the “original” style with no cheese, milk, or cream. Pasta and meat. The pasta was so perfect it could be eaten alone. I could not leave without ordering my Italian mother’s favorite dish, Clams Pasta, but these tonarelli are a “Massimini” family recipe with red chili pepper. A nice helping of open shelled fresh clams faced me on these yellow buttery noodles.
The weirdest part about my lunch is that I was on to my fourth pasta, Ravioli with fresh artichoke inside, and I was not feeling that sick full pasta feeling I get when I cook at home or eat pasta at most restaurants. The pasta had this light texture that was incomparable to other kinds of pasta I have sampled in America. The specially sourced egg not available in the US is combined with the age-old technique of sheeting and cutting pasta by the Sfoglina in the Bologna kitchen which results in a noodle with superior texture and a deep yellow noodle that perfectly bonds with the sauces.
Other classic pasta dishes can be found at Uovo too, like amatriciana, tagliatelle al ragu, cacio e pepe, tortellini, carbonara and more. Next time I will be sampling the Meat Lasagne made with green pasta, Tonnarelli Carbonara with egg, guanciale, 24-month-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper, and Ricotta Ravioli in Pomodoro sauce. Add a veggie to your meal like Roasted Artichoke or Roasted Broccolini.
Uovo was founded by Carlo and Lele Massimini, Jerry Greenberg and Lowell Sharron. Jerry and Lele are two of the founders of Sushi Nozawa (SUGARFISH, KazuNori, Nozawa Bar) thus we can expect the same values and commitment to serve incredible food.
The Sfoglina with her rolling pin in Bologna, with her skills and special ingredients passed down from one generation to the next, is honestly my Italian cultural icon!
Pop in for the best pasta in Italy, but now right here in Los Angeles.