Is there a place for pasta in the fast-food sector?

Many dishes from around the world lend themselves perfectly to a fast or casual food. Some last forever – such as the Chinese takeaway on the corner and the traditional fish and chips – while others seem more faddish. Thai street food or Tex-Mex do the rounds, but they do not always stick around. Gourmet burgers are among the new kids on the block, and now it seems that Italian food could be the next to pop up.

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Get a pizza the action

Pizza is the perfect fast-food and fast-casual trend because it is quick to prepare, easy to box up for a takeaway, and easy to eat with your hands; however, pasta is proving more problematic.

Can you make faster pasta?

Making pasta is not a quick affair. By the time the big stockpot is boiling, the local chippy could have dished out dozens of portions and McDonald’s could have flipped many burgers into their boxes; however, it is now possible to pre-cook, freeze and then flash-boil pasta and noodles when they are needed, which makes it super-convenient.

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While it is now possible to produce faster pasta, essentially it is seen as a comfort food. It is a dish to share around the table with family and friends – something to savour rather than something to eat on the go. This is what a meal in an Italian restaurant is all about – sharing and enjoying food together. People want delicious pasta served with a ragu sauce that has been simmering away for hours, or a delicious creamy sauce that has been freshly made.

Pasta should be savoured in comfort; it is not something you eat just to fill you up. It is a warming, comfort food served with love. You can check out Italian restaurants in Dublin, such as forno500, to see the variety of pasta types and sauces, lovingly created by hand and evocative of home cooking. Pizza does not conjure up such high expectations.

At the end of the day, pasta is a handheld food that travels well and can be customised to include high-brow ingredients or be more everyday fare. Savour your pasta in a restaurant or at home, but pick up the phone to order a pizza if you are feeling peckish.

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