Fans of penne, ravioli and tagliatelle, we’ve found you the best places for traditional Italian cooking and homemade pasta sauces in Kensington, Chelsea and Notting Hill
1 La Famiglia
Said to be José Mourinho’s favourite restaurant, La Famiglia has remained a Chelsea institution since opening 40 years ago. It’s a real family affair: Chef Quinto Cecchetti has been cooking since the beginning and founder Alvaro Maccioni’s daughter, Marietta, works there now. The extensive pasta menu focuses on simple yet flavoursome dishes, with plenty of vegetarian options. This is definitely the place to sample a true carbonara.
7 Langton Street, The World’s End, Chelsea SW10 0JL; lafamiglia.co.uk
Sitting just off busy Portobello Market, Mediterraneo bridges the gap between local institution and tourist hub. The menu focuses on traditional Italian dishes like parmigiana di melanzane and linguine with arrabiata sauce. If you’re looking for a better value meal, try the set lunch at £15.50 for two courses, Monday to Friday. Given the location, it tends to be busy, so be sure to book ahead.
37 Kensington Park Road W11 2EU; mediterraneo-restaurant.co.uk
Located close to Sloane Square, Caraffini is an unpretentious Italian restaurant with charm and excellent pasta. These are crowd-pleasing dishes and although the menu is small, the quality is high. Carnivores must try the melt-in-the-mouth pappardelle with ragù of lamb, while fish-lovers will devour the linguine with fresh clams tossed in garlic and chilli – both make excellent choices for diners seeking robust flavours.
61-63 Lower Sloane Street SW1W 8DH; caraffini.co.uk
Valentina has an attractive Italian deli at its front filled with dried pastas, sauces and fresh desserts, while its warm, buzzy restaurant is located at the back – check out the vintage bikes attached to the walls. This is the place to come for authentic Italian cuisine given that the family recipes have been handed down through the generations. The pasta is freshly made using seasonal ingredients and the portion sizes are generous.
145 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB; valentinafinefoods.com
5 Osteria Basilico
The nearby cousin of Mediterraneo, Osteria Basilico offers a similar menu, but with a greater choice for vegetarians. It has a real trattoria feel, with old-fashioned pine furnishings. There’s a big focus on authentic Italian pasta here with the likes of spaghetti alle vongole e pachino and handmade tagliolini.
29 Kensington Park Road W11 2EU; osteriabasilico.co.uk
6 Il Portico
We suspect this Kensington gem is the favourite Italian of many a west Londoner. The handmade tagliolini with king prawn, fresh clams and squid, (pictured) is just one delight. The restaurant has remained in the family for three generations and the menu is heavily inspired by Emilia-Romagna, the region from which the family originates.
277 High Street Kensington W8 6NA; ilportico.co.uk