The 10 best places for when you’re craving a big bowl of pasta

The 10 best places for when you’re craving a big bowl of pasta

We’re from the firm belief that every night is pasta night, and our region has a number of Nonna-worthy pasta dishes that are guaranteed to perk you up after a tough day.

Next time you’ve got pasta on your mind – whether it’s for dine-in or takeaway – let one of these restaurants sort you out with some of the best spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, and ravioli you can find this side of Victoria.

Centra, Geelong
If you’ve got an urge for Italian done right, look no further than Centra which has become the go-to place for authentic rustic Italian in the Geelong region… whether it’s dine-in or takeaway. It’s modern, stylish, classy, and best of all is only about locally sourced seasonal produce that’s flavoursome, expressive, honest and (most importantly) delicious.

Now, back to the pasta. If you’re craving something vegetarian, Centra has a mouth-watering ricotta gnocchi dish with tomato sauce, Mozzarella and basil, or pumpkin tortellini with brown butter sage sauce and amaretti biscotti. If meats more your style, indulge in the lamb ragu pappardelle, or embrace the ocean and go for the Seafood Linguini with comes with prawns, scallops, calamari, mussels, olive oil and white wine… um sold? Pair with a glass of vino and you’ll be thanking us later.

The team also offer pizza and they’ve even got some pretty tasty ‘Centra Deals’ which are worth checking out.

Centra is open for dine-in and for takeaway Tuesday to Sunday’s from 4:30pm-8pm – pickup only. You’ll find them at 131 Yarra St, Geelong.

Pearl Torquay
A Surfcoast favourite serving up happiness in a bowl.

While a relative newcomer opening its doors back in March last year, Pearl Torquay has quickly become known for serving up some of the tastiest Italian cooking outside of Italy itself, providing locals with a go-to destination for fresh pasta.

With the perfect dining experience for customers on site and at home, Pearl Torquay pair their homemade pasta with classic sauces, ideal for an unpretentious hot meal on the go. Their current menu is small but faultless. Choose from the rigatoni with slow cooked brisket, pancetta and herb salsa; the fettucine with braised duck leg, mushrooms and cream; squid ink linguini with blue swimmer crab, mussels, chilli and prawn butter; or the penne with truffle parsnip cream, broadbeans and fried shallots.

Vegan’s won’t be left behind either, with Pearl Torquay offering up their delicious vegan spaghetti with broccoli sauce, horseradish and mushroom.

Making good on their promise of authenticity, you can even chase your pasta with something big, bold, Italian and interesting, like a bottle of the Gran Sasso Montepulciano.

Pearl Torquay is open for dine-in and takeaway Wednesday – Sunday nights from 5pm. Call them on 5261 7017 to book your table or order takeaway. You can pick up direct from 8 Pearl Street, Torquay.

Ragazzone, Ballarat

If you feel like treating yourself, pasta and vino lovers should check out Ballarat’s new modern Italian restaurant, Ragazzone. Now we don’t have a lot of information as they’ve only just opened, but from our eyes on the ground, we’re been told the offering is second to none.

We’ve been drooling over their pan fried gnocchi with walnut, cauliflower, muscatel and buffalo moz.

It is however dine-in only from Tuesday to Saturday and bookings must be made via the website.

Lipari Espresso Bar, Geelong

Geelong’s home of too good to refuse carb-loaded, butter-drenched pasta. Building on recipes passed down from the family, Lipari has created a menu that pays homage to all the family classics.

Here you just need to choose your pasta of choice (Penne, Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Tortellini, Ravioli or Homemade Gnocchi) and then match it to your favourite Italian sauce and you’ll be dreaming of it for days to come. Sauces range from your classics like bolognese, pesto, matriciana, a marinara seafood mix and napoletana, to more flavoursome options like calabrese, carbonara, a Chicken, Mango & Avocado sauce and the Chef’s Special Bacon, Spring Onions & Chicken (our pick!!).

Regarded by many as Geelong’s best Italian restaurant, one which people talk about and come back to time after time – you’ll soon see why.

Lipari is located at 10 Union Street, Geelong. They’re open daily from 5pm for dine-in and takeaway so call 5222 5600 to book or place your order.

Caruggi, Geelong

Providing Geelong with delicious Northern Italian Cuisine, Caruggi has long being the perfect place to sit back in a relaxed atmosphere and immerse yourself in all that is Italian.

From the classic napoli or bolognese, to something a little more indulgent like the Pesto Genovese with green beans and potato, the pappardelle al sugo del giorno, or the pansotti con salsa di noci (pasta filled with silverbeet and ricotta served in an otway walnut pesto), Caruggi have all your pasta needs sorted… and you can bet it’s made fresh, enough to rival that of your Nonna!

They’ve even got a gluten free pasta available if you require!

Caruggi is located at 66 Little Malop Street, Geelong. Pasta is available Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner dine-in, and takeaway.

Two Sugars on Pako, Geelong West

Two Sugars on Pakington Street is known for giving customers the real Italian experience at an affordable price, and now you can enjoy this experience both within their space or from the comfort of your own home – whatever you’re comfortable with, they’ll certainly make it worth your while.

With their full menu turning heads, it’s of course the pasta that has captured our carb-loving hearts. From the delicious linguine marinara, to the wholesome spaghetti alla carbornara and their spaghettini con polpette (traditional spaghetti and meatballs), you’re in for an absolute treat. You can even branch out and try their homemade ricotta gnocchi in rich tomato sauce, or the mouthwatering lasagna with Bolognese sauce and cheese.

If you’re not feeling pasta, there’s barely a person in the world that doesn’t seek comfort in the cheesy aromatic goodness of a pizza fresh out of a wood-fired oven – and these guys have you covered there too!

There’ve even got some pretty good meal deals on offer for pick up only if that’s how you want to do it including a large pizza, a large pasta and a coke for $35.

You can book your table online via the website, or call 52210377 to organise takeaway. You can also order through Deliveroo and UberEats for delivery.

Il Matto, Torquay

From Sicily to the Surf Coast, Il Matto has been bringing the true taste of Italy to Torquay for the last three years and is continuing to serve their home-style Sicilian food with generosity and heart for locals through this time.

If you need a warm pasta hug, we’d recommend the Linguine del Pescatore (seafood linguini), the Farfalle al Salmone (farfalle pasta cooked in a Vodka Flambee Sauce with diced of Fresh Local Salmon, Fresh Zucchini, Cream and topped with crushed Pistacchio of Bronte) or the Fettuccine al Ragu’ di Agnello (fettuccine with braised lamb ragout). There’s also the Spaghetti & Polpette (traditional Italian meatballs) which is always a favourite.

If pasta in the simple pillowy soft potato parcel form is more your style, Il Matto’s gnocchi is the real deal. You can get Pumpkin and Pesto gnocchi, Bolognese gnocchi, butter and sage gnocchi, or just the good ol’ Napoli gnocchi. This is Italian with sparkle, and everything they touch turns to gold.

Il Matto are currently open for lunch and tea, takeaway or dine in. Order online with their ‘eatappy’ app or call them on 042412008 to book a table in store at 3/15 Bell St, Torquay.

Clogs, Bendigo

After 45 years of looking after the families in Bendigo, the van Haandel family’s vibrant, late night restaurant and home delivery service has been responsible for shaping Bendigo’s social landscape – so you can bet you’ll find some quality comfort food for when you need it most.

While their pizzas have earnt Clogs a spot in the Herald Sun’s top 20 favourite Victorian pizza places, their pastas are simple, unfussy, and utterly satisfying – just as they should be.

Whether you opt for the pesto penne, the spaghetti bolognese or the beef lasagne, or you step it up and try the spicy chorizo orecchiette, the Portobello mushroom risotto or the mouthwatering seafood linguini, this is the type of pasta for curing colds and foul moods.

There’s even a pasta deal where you can enjoy two pastas for only $32.90? Make that Seafood Linguini order a double!

They’ve only just reopened for dine-in with limited numbers in accordance with current government regulations, but you can enjoy Clogs at home if you prefer with their dedicated takeaway page.

Order online, or book your table by calling 03 5443 0077. Clogs is located at 106 Pall Mall, Bendigo.

The Forge Pizzeria, Ballarat

The Forge Pizzeria in Ballarat has long been a favourite among visitors and locals who love sharing good, regional fare with friends. While their renowned for creating delicious wood-fired pizzas made with fresh, local produce and high-quality ingredients, they’ve got a tonne of pastas that are on par with your nonna’s.

If you’re keen on keeping it simple, try the Orecchiette & Ricotta, Spaghetti with meatballs, or the Fettuccine/gnocchi/tortellini Alfredo in a cream sauce.

If however you’re having adventurous pasta cravings, we absolute recommend the Angel Hair Primavera with sautéed vegetables in a pink cream sauce, Agnolotti – fresh lobster ravioli with shrimp in vodka sauce, or the Fusilli Alla Joe complete with eggplant, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, black olives & garlic. That’s barely scraping the surface of what’s available though, with other options including Spinach & Chicken penne, Penne al Filetto di Pomodoro, Pappardelle Quattro, Gnocchi Bolognese, and Linguini Carbonara.

The Forge Pizzeria has two locations in Ballarat, 1771 Sturt Street and 14 Armstrong Street North. Visit the website or call (03) 5337 6635 to place your order or book your table.

Town and Country Pizza, everywhere

Whether it’s dinner, lunch or even the odd cheeky leftovers for breakfast, there’s no going past delicious saucy pasta or creamy gnocchi.

If you’re after variety AND quality, Town and Country Pizza is the neato Italian chain that has somehow managed to maintain is authentic home-y vibe despite its size – and having been around for over 25 years, these folks definitely know what they’re doing in the kitchen.

With a huge range of pizzas that are truly delicious, it’s their pastas and risottos that are nonna-level forces to be reckoned with, covering everything from your tomato-y lasagne fantasy to a creamy pesto chicken dream. Simply choose your sauce (bolognese, marinara, napolitana, carbonara, vegetarian, pollo al crema, chicken pesto or our favourite, the chicken and spinach) and then choose your type of pasta (fettucini, gnocchi, penne, ravioli, spaghetti or tortellini).

You can order from the several locations around Geelong including Central Geelong, Waurn Ponds, Leopold, Lara, Armstrong Creek and Torquay or visit online at www.townandcountrypizza.com.au/. Open 7 days for pick ups, delivery or dine-in, depending on location.

It’s not rocket science. A simple slurp of spaghetti or forkful of fettuccine can make life suddenly look very sweet indeed – so round up your pasta loving mates (just five for now!) and buon appetito!