There is a misperception among Americans that all home cooks in Italy make their own fresh pasta. Not true. It's a time-consuming process that many cooks figured long ago had a small return on investment. Which is not to say they all resort to the boxes of dried, dessicated noodles that fill many of our pantries.
Instead, they buy their fresh pastas from a neighborhood pasta maker, a place just like Trevi Pasta in College Park. It's a small storefront space that looks more like an ice cream shop or a bakery. And indeed, gelato is available here and the previous tenant was a French bakery. But fresh pasta is the focus, and you can even watch the sheets of dough as they're threaded through the rolling machine and then cut into the various sized noodles.
Even better, you can have a plate of them right there, served with one of the available sauces of the day.
Even though it's a small place, and even though the available pastas might seem small, there are dozens of variations. Generally you'll find pappardelle, tagliatelle, tagliolini, spaghetti, fusilli and other shapes. But these might be available in various flavors, including spinach, garlic, tricolori and so on.
Then there are the sauces, such as the four-cheese that my friend had with the garlic fettuccine, or the bolognese I chose to go with the rosemary pappardelle. Both were delicious, and the portions were more than ample and filling. We both remarked that it would have been nice to have more protein options — perhaps a sliced chicken breast to go with the four-cheese sauce — but we also understood that adding more foods like that would complicate the kitchen process.
And besides, it obviously wants to be more of a market. Besides the pastas that can be purchased, uncooked, there are a few shelves of imported goods along one of the walls next to the small granite-topped tables. And it wasn't until I was paying at the cash register that I saw some of the items inside a deli case between the cash register (do we still call it a cash register when it's really an iPad?) and the gelato case. I'm sure there were several items in there, but I couldn't take my eyes off of the olives — I've never seen olives that big.
The people were pleasant but businesslike. Do stop in and buy some pasta to take home and pair with your favorite sauce. That's Italian.
Trevi Pasta is at 2120 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. There is no website. Plates of prepared pasta with sauce to eat in range from $9-$13. The phone number is 407-985-2577.