How to recreate 3 of your favourite Padella dishes at home

Padella is heaven for pasta connoisseurs and is fast becoming one of London’s most famed Italian restaurants. At any given meal-time, walking past their flag ship store in Borough Market is a sight to behold, with scores of people queuing eagerly outside to enter the charming abode. A restaurant that’s bustling with life, energy and tasty small-plates, it’s worth the trouble every single time.

But if you don’t fancy the trek to Borough and the inevitable queue for some time outside, this article will explain how to recreate three of its most renowned dishes in your own home. Whether you decide to impress peers at a dinner party, treat a loved one to a spectacular eat-in date, or enjoy a Padella favourite alone, mastering one or two of these dishes is a skill that benefits you for life.

Pappardelle with Dexter beef shin ragù

Padella’s pappardelle is second to none, served with delicious beef shin ragù. As explained by Pasta Evangelists, the wide, flat shape of pappardelle, along with its rough and porous surface make it ideal for rich and hearty sauces like this. Funnily enough, the name pappardelle comes from the Italian verb meaning “to gobble up”, which is oh so fitting for this dish.


  • 600g fresh pappardelle
  • 300g beef shin
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 large celery sticks, chopped
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 100ml red Barolo wine
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper


  1. First, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, before placing the beef inside and browning it on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes. Once browned, put the beef aside for later.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, adding the onion and garlic to the same pot and sauté until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Chuck in the carrot and celery, frying for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables soften. Deglaze browned food residue from the pan with red wine, simmering until reduced by half. After 5 minutes, put in the tomato puree along with the passata.
  3. Now it’s time to add back the browned beef, along with the beef stock and bay leaf. Allow the liquid to simmer over medium-low heat. Cover the pan, leaving it for 3 hours minimum until the beef is tender.
  4. If the sauce is too watery at the end of the 3 hour cooking period, take out the meat and reduce the liquid by putting on a medium heat. This should thicken it up.
  5. Pull the meat into beautiful chunks and stir within the sauce, seasoning without salt and pepper if necessary. While your sauce is reducing, prepare your pasta. Cook the pappardelle in boiling water until al dente — this should take 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Drain the water, then add the sauce to the pasta and combine. The final touch before serving is to top the dish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli & lemon

Tim Siadatan, Chef and Padella founder, says his Tagliarini dish has a lightness to it thanks to the crab, making it an ideal meal for spring. It’s also easy to make at home, as long as the crab is from a good fishmonger. The brachyura is important as it gives the plate more substance, and a taste of the sea.


  • 80g white cooked and picked crab meat
  • 80g brown cooked and picked crab meat
  • 1 chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 400g dried spaghetti or linguine
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Mix together the white and brown crab meat, chilli, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice in a suitable bowl, then season with pepper before placing it in the refrigerator.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add plenty of salt (preferably until it tastes like seawater). Cook the pasta until al dente. 
  3. Next, add a splash (use half a ladle if you’d like to be precise) of the starchy pasta water to a frying pan. Place butter into the pan too and melt on a low heat, before dropping in the crab mixture you made earlier.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, place it into the pan with the crab mixture. Mix and toss the pasta in the frying pan for 30 seconds or a minute, adding a small amount of more cooking water if it starts to dry up. Continue this until the mixture and water emulsifies into a sauce. Serve immediately.

3. Pici cacio e pepe

A simple classic but one that never fails to satisfy. Pasta, butter and cheese: what could be better than that? Pici, a thick spaghetti-like pasta, is paired with an indulgent sauce of creamy pecorino and freshly ground pepper – and it’s pretty easy to make at home.


  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • Garlic 2 cloves, chopped
  • Butter 80g, cubed
  • Ground black pepper 1 tbsp
  • Fresh marjoram or oregano chopped to 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan 25g, grated
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Salt 1½ tsp
  • Fresh pici pasta


  1. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and add salt. 
  2. Next, heat the sunflower oil and garlic in a frying pan on a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until the garlic becomes a golden colour — this will happen quickly, so pay attention to avoid burning it. The instant the garlic turns pale yellow, strain it through a metal sieve into a bowl. Shake off any excess oil and put garlic out on kitchen paper.
  3. Place the pici into the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, add the butter, black pepper, marjoram and a small amount of the pasta water into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat until they merge together.
  5. When al dente, drain the water and place the pici to the pan. Add parmesan, but don’t stir: leave the parmesan to sit and melt from the heat of the pan — this stops it from becoming chewy. 
  6. Once the parmesan has melted, combine the pici and sauce together. Season with salt and pepper, then the golden garlic from before, folding it into the pasta. Serve.