Pasta perfection on the Gold Coast | Gourmand and Gourmet

Pasta perfection on the Gold Coast

They say that Italian is the language of love, and judging from the way Rafaelle Di Benedetto cooks, we think it’s pretty safe to say that Italian cuisine is the food of love. For 19 years, Rafaelle has been romancing Gold Coast diners with his handmade pastas and sauces at Ristorante Fellini, and also letting many a wannabe chef take the credit for his skills and impress their dates with his take home range from Pastificio Fellini. Originally hailing from Naples, the man sure knows what he’s doing when it comes making our favourite Italian carb (fettucini carbonara always trumps pizza), having learnt the art when he was just sixteen. Rafaelle’s pastas are so good, they’re even used in the kitchens of other Gold Coast restaurants. But they are best eaten at Ristorante Fellini of course, where the fresh spaghetti, fettucine, rigatoni and ravioli is turned into delicious Italian dishes like rigatoni with local spanner crab and a hint of chilli, linguette doused in a creamy sauce with Moreton Bay bug and a slow-cooked duck and vegetable ragu that will have you saying ‘bellisimo!’ Behind the restaurant is Pasticio Fellini, where Rafaelle works his magic on Australian durum wheat to create the pasta that goes into the delicious dishes. The deli business started thanks to the sheer popularity of Ristorante Fellini’s pasta, with customers often asking to buy the stuff to cook at home. Soon, demand was so high that Italian machinery had to be imported to help things along, and Pasticio Fellini was born. Of course, pasta is nothing without the sauce that accompanies it, so the store also sells a few of the restaurants secret sauces, including a classic Napoleatana and a drool-worthy bolognaise. Pro-tip: for restaurant-quality food without having to leave the house, or your pjs, grab some of Pastificio Fellini’s fresh fettucine, your choice of sauce, a bottle of wine (or two) and your main squeeze, and get set to have a romantic night in, a la Lady and the Tramp. Or if you’re feeling selfish, keep the whole bowl to yourself. We wouldn’t blame you. Either way, if you’re committed to your relationship with carbs and are craving a big bowl of perfect al dente spaghetti, head south on the highway for pasta as gorgeous and golden as the sands of Surfer’s Paradise, from Pastificio Fellini at Marina Mirage. Words by Kate Bethune