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Is this algae-tinted tagliatelle the next food trend?

Tim Nelson
May 09, 2018

Australia has a reputation as the breeding ground of many frightening things, like the Sydney Funnel Web Spider, the Box Jellyfish, and Nick Cave. At first glance, the latest food trend to emerge from the land down under looks like it adds to that unsettling legacy. But as it turns out, blue pasta is perfectly safe for human consumption.

Yes, people in Australia are eating blue pasta on purpose, or at least those who pay a visit to Mark + Vinny's Spaghetti + Spritz bar are. The newly-opened Sydney eatery has taken to serving up what they call the Blue Spirulina Tagliatelle that turns a traditional dish on its head with a jolt of turquoise.

Dreamed up by co-owners Mark Filippelli and Vince Pizzinga and dutifully engineered by their head chef Adrian Jankuloski, the unexpectedly bright dish has a bit of a seafood twist, working in fish roe and blue crab (natch). Fittingly, the tagliatelle pairs with its own signature blue spritz to boot.


While the turquoise take on tagliatelle seems otherworldly, it has a decidedly earthbound origin. The pasta dish’s pigmentation come from its namesake spirulina, a form of (thankfully nontoxic) algae that’s often fed to farmed fish and poultry. The Daily Meal says Fillipelli has used spirulina in an Insta-worthy blue latte available at Matcha Mylkbar, but this looks to be one the first time the freshwater food dye has appeared on a plate.

The unorthodox meal makes for more than just a pretty picture. Early social media reviews suggest their signature dish is worth a try. Instagrammer @issac_eatsalot praised its “balance of flavour and saltiness through the pasta with it's crab meat dressing,” and @jessmarto describing as “gorgeous looking and super tasty.”

If you’d rather your dinner landed elsewhere on the visible light spectrum, the restaurant also serves a vibrantly red spaghettini colored with beets, as well as a more muted bucatini that gets its complexion from charcoal. And if you’d rather not fly twenty hours to eat pasta, fret not:  it’s probably only a matter of time before a food trend tailor-made for Instagram likes makes its way across the Pacific anyways.

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