HomeLifestyleFood & RecipesPenne for your thoughts: Pasta at a premium as prices soar

Penne for your thoughts: Pasta at a premium as prices soar

Pesto pasta is known as a budget-friendly, staple dish among students. With just two low-cost ingredients, it’s a foolproof meal for filling you up, while the green colour makes it seem remotely healthy. However, students’ reliance on pasta could soon shift, as pasta prices increase across British supermarkets and restaurants.

Faced with the cost of living crisis and recent food shortages, the price of pasta is rising along with the general price of basic food stuffs. Earlier this month, Swansea University Students’ Union revealed it has set up a food bank over concerns that some students could not afford to eat. Today (24 February), it emerged that the cost of dried pasta has surged by 90 per cent in just two years.

At present, food shortages in supermarkets could “last for weeks,” retail experts have warned, as the government is told the “clock is ticking”. Tesco joined Asda, Aldi and Morrison’s as the latest supermarket to ration fresh produce as shelves across the country lay empty.

National Farming Union (NFU) president Minette Batters said this week at the NFU conference that the production of tomatoes and cucumbers is expected to drop to “the lowest levels since records began in 1985”.

While pasta has often been known as a cheaper meal, restaurants have been hiking up the prices of pasta dishes, too. You can expect to be paying more for your spaghetti bolognese at chain venues such as Bella Italia, Zizzi and Prezzo, for example.

At a London branch of Bella Italia, a carbonara costs £14.50, while the cheapest pasta dish on the menu, tomato pasta with buffalo mozzarella, costs £11.29.

At Zizzi, a chorizo carbonara comes in at £14.75 while the Pomodoro costs £10.95. Meanwhile, Prezzo’s London branches serve crab and lobster ravioli for £17.95 and the penne Arrabbiata comes in at £11.95.

At high-end restaurants, it is difficult to find a pasta dish for under £20. At Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, the baked spinach and ricotta cannelloni costs £22.

Bella Italia’s carbonara costs £14.50 at its London branches


Cecconi’s Mayfair, which has branches in London and in New York, serves a spaghetti lobster dish for £36. At the Bluebird in Chelsea, the crab linguine will set you back £42. In Manchester at the upscale chain Piccolino, a simple spaghetti carbonara is £15.50.

Meanwhile at the River Cafe, linguine with Devon crab, chilli, parsley and lemon on the restaurant’s winter menu is marked at £35. At the Michelin-starred Murano, a three-course dinner with three pasta options, including pumpkin and goats curd tortellini with trompettes and sage, is £85.

Follow the latest updates amid the UK’s food shortage here.

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