Pasta as fast food? I was skeptical of Pastazzi’s promise of quick noodles and sauces. Pasta is an easy, cheap make-at-home meal. Why pay?  But the promise of natural ingredients and house-made pasta lured me into the modern, lime green and orange restaurant, which could double as a CB2 showroom.

Narrow colanders stand at the ready above boiling water. You choose from about a dozen pastas (penne to gnocchi) and sauces (pomodoro to puttanesca). The meatballs in penne won approval, but the Gorgonzola sauce on fettuccini lacked creaminess and bite. The cheese and pear salad was a respectable combo of spring greens, fruit, blue cheese and walnuts — sizeable enough to be a meal for less than $5. The caprese panini was neither warm nor pressed, though. Oh-so-sweet desserts such as tiramisu and chocolate truffle come in small containers.

At prices that rival family Italian restaurants, the noodles should have wowed us with their freshness. Instead, they were limp and flavorless. The meat lasagna was tasty enough that I would try the large frozen, take-home version. As for most of the other pasta dishes, I’ll stick to my own pot of boiling water.


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