Pasta Basta

Anywhere you eat in Machane Yehuda is like stepping into a bubble. You sit relax and watch the bustling crowds push past in a detached way like watching a movie. It even seems to get quieter, or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking.

There’s a busy restaurant down one of the side streets of Machane Yehuda where weary shoppers can rest their aching legs and recover from a hectic morning dodging their way through the crowded streets. Pasta Basta, overlooking the corner of HaTut Street, is a dairy pasta restaurant that offers a moderate selection of fresh pasta dishes.

The menu is simple, and straightforward, which is one of Pasta Basta’s strengths. The mix and match style offers you a choice of three pasta styles, ten sauces, and a dozen or so toppings. The Parmesan dispensers at the table are a nice touch, too.

The other strength is their pricing. The most expensive dish (pasta, sauce, one topping) you can order is ₪41. For far less you can enjoy freshly made pasta and sauces in a wide variety of options. Their Four-Cheese sauce is creamy, and their Red Pesto sauce is an interesting twist on the classic. The Tomato sauce is fresh, and they offer buffalo mozzarella as a topping in addition to other cheeses, vegetables, and fish. I tend to be a cuisine purist, but their Coconut Curry sauce was full of flavor, with the perfect amount of flavor from the curry.

If you’re looking for negatives, the seating is cramped, and low stools take the place of backed chairs. On the corners of the outside seating are some cushioned seats, but those are usually unavailable, taken by a book reader, net surfer, or other long-staying customer. The system of ordering at the counter leaves the table you just reserved vulnerable to poaching by another customer.

With the number of restaurants in Machane Yehuda growing, Pasta Basta stands out as a no-frills, no-nonsense restaurant where you’ll get a well-portioned, flavorful and rejuvenating lunch.



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