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Meet the best friends delivering fresh pasta to your door in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:28 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 14 February 2020

Best friends Linda Balbiani and Francesca Plastini at the Pasta Fresca pop-up at The Ten Bells pub in Norwich Credit: James Randle

Best friends Linda Balbiani and Francesca Plastini at the Pasta Fresca pop-up at The Ten Bells pub in Norwich Credit: James Randle

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Say ciao to Pasta Fresca which has launched in Norwich and alongside pop-ups, delivers fresh pasta and sauces around the city.

There is a choice of fresh pasta or ravioli with a range of sauces at Pasta Fresca Credit: James RandleThere is a choice of fresh pasta or ravioli with a range of sauces at Pasta Fresca Credit: James Randle

The business is owned by best friends Francesca Plastini and Linda Balbiani, both 38, who are originally from Milan and moved to Norwich to learn English almost 20 years ago.

The pair started Pasta Fresca in September 2019 with a weekly pop-up at UEA, serving freshly made pasta with homemade sauces to students, and they have since held events at pubs including The Sir Garnet and The Ten Bells.

But, at present, the main bulk of their business is delivering their products to homes in Norwich, with collection available too, with choices including ricotta, lemon and ginger ravioli, tagliolini, which looks like ribbon, and casarecce, which are short twists of pasta, and customers can buy either a 500g or 1kg packet.

All the pasta is boiled on-site at the pop-ups and then served with your choice of sauce Credit: James RandleAll the pasta is boiled on-site at the pop-ups and then served with your choice of sauce Credit: James Randle

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Alongside this, they also sell their fresh sauces, with the option of tomato and basil, bolognese or pesto and all their food is made in Mrs Plastini's loft, which has been converted into a "pasta laboratory" and her daughter Elisa, 7, helps her with the labelling.

Mrs Plastini said: "We both wanted to do something related with food as we had both worked in restaurants, Linda as a chef and me as a waitress, and I have always made bread and pizza at home and love to cook all the time.

All the pasta is freshly made in a converted loft in Mrs Plastini's house Credit: James RandleAll the pasta is freshly made in a converted loft in Mrs Plastini's house Credit: James Randle

"We thought about what we could do that wasn't really and Norwich and although there are lots of pasta places, we wanted to make a social community where you can come and see all the different types of pasta and chat about the food and Italy with us.

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"We then went on a course in Italy in February last year where we learnt how to make pasta and the sauces and then when we came home we slowly worked on it and tried things out."

The pair want to turn Pasta Fresca into a social community where customers chat about the food and Italy Credit: James RandleThe pair want to turn Pasta Fresca into a social community where customers chat about the food and Italy Credit: James Randle

Pasta Fresca's food is currently stocked at Kuzma in the Earlham Road Shopping Centre, but the pair have big ambitions to be stocked across the city and would eventually like their own restaurant.

Mrs Plastini added: "We are now in the process of making a very pretty packet that can go in shops and we really want to be stocked in Jarrold.

"We would also like to do pop-ups at more pubs and then one day have our own restaurant and we are currently on the waiting list for Norwich Market.

A customer sprinkles Parmesan on her pasta at the Pasta Fresca pop up at The Ten Bells pub Credit: James RandleA customer sprinkles Parmesan on her pasta at the Pasta Fresca pop up at The Ten Bells pub Credit: James Randle

"I want to make sure what I am giving people is what I eat in my house with my family."

Find them on Facebook and Instagram at 'Pasta Fresca Norwich' where you can contact them to order.


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