Popular among young generations, Tokyo’s Sangenjaya area is a forefront of new trends blended in with retro vibes. Sangenjaya is home to Pepe Rosso, a long standing Italian restaurant established in 1986. In July 2015, it transformed to an eatery offering a variety of handmade raw pasta from all around Italy as well as seasonal regional dishes. The spruced up interior is bright and incorporates elements of casual Italian design. From the unique tableware and high quality glasses to the menu of wine and cheese, the place emanates Head Chef Imai’s tastes. Imai took up this position at the age of 30 and we took this opportunity to film him making two dishes: Orecchiette and Cjalsons.
It takes 20 hours to prepare the dough.
The flour we use is called Molina Dallagiovanna and it’s imported from abroad. It’s kind of like an all purpose flour.
We’re the only restaurant in Japan that uses flour of this quality. We procure flour that you can’t find anywhere else in Japan.
Usually, flour is cleaned by brushing of impurities, but this type is washed with water. It works well to get rid of impurities and the results are completely different.
I first mix the flour, semolina flour, toasted flour, and Sicilian salt with a whisk. Making a depression in the center, I add water bit by bit and mix it with a rubber spatula.
Instead of pressing it down all at once, I knead it by massaging it gently. The key is to knead it in a way that leaves the bowl clean when you’re done. Otherwise, you’d upset an Italian mother (haha).
I’ll be kneading it bit by bit.
If it’s still hard, I spray some water on it.
Afterwards, I’ll put it in a plastic bag and let it sit for three hours. Three hours later, I’ll knead it again. This process is repeated four times.
The one on the left is a complete version.
I use a flour known as Senatore Cappelli in Italy. In Japan, I substitute it with all purpose flour.
I also use water from Italy, but the type is a secret.
Just like the previous dish, this is dough left overnight.
I stretch it out with a rolling pin and then put it through the pasta machine. Italian flour can be rough, but you can even out the dough by letting it mature. The dough can also be evened out by flipping it over after it’s put through the pasta machine.
This pasta tastes completely different depending on the household; each family has their own original recipe.
There is no set number of folds— I usually decide by looking at its state.
This pasta is not dried; it’s eaten fresh.
1F Daiichi Gold Building 1-12-23 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
3-minute walk from Sangenchaya Station on the Tokyudenentochi Line or Setagaya Line
11:30-15:00 (last order)
17:30-24:00 (last order)