Awards & Recognition

Pasta La Fata’s mission is

to honor traditions of Italian families, especially our grandmothers.

To prepare Italian food, means using the best quality local ingredients.

Our standards are very high.

Food is medicine.

We promise to always offer the best.

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Pasta La Fata: The Pasta 'Fairy' is in the Building

Shelly La Fata is in the business of perfecting exceptional handcrafted artisanal Italian food, utilizing traditional techniques, passed down to her from the women in her family, specifically her Sicilian grandmother, Josephine La Fata, and it shows. Each of Shelly’s unique Italian delicacies require focus, discipline and the freshest of ingredients, all of which are essential components to authentic Italian cuisine. The lines for Pasta La Fata don’t lie. Something magical is happening when Shelly and her Pasta La Fata team visit the market.

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2020 Feast 50 Awards: Columbia

Shelly La Fata may not have a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Columbia, but her pop-up dinners and fresh, handmade pasta, which she sells at the Columbia Farmers Market, have gained a following. Her gooey arancini and St. Louis-style toasted ravioli are great starters for any meal, and her rich sauce complements the ravioli, lasagna and cannelloni, among other dishes. (Photo by Keith Borgmeyer)

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2019 Feast 50 Awards: Columbia

Best Italian

Regulars at Shelly La Fata’s seasonal Sidebar pop-up dinners know to bring Tupperware – seriously, you’re going to need it. La Fata serves a rotating menu built with seasonal ingredients and family recipes, often showcasing vegetable and meat lasagnas, focaccia and rounding out the meal with her grandmother’s Italian cookies. (Photo by Keith Borgmeyer)  

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Shelly La Fata is exploring all the pasta-bilities in Columbia

In Columbia, Missouri, Pasta La Fata has become synonymous with handmade Italian fare.

Over the last five years, owner Shelly La Fata has grown a solo side hustle – think evening popups centered on flavor-packed palm-sized toasted ravioli – into a full-time venture. Alongside her crew, La Fata now makes an array of fresh and frozen pasta for sale at the Columbia Farmers Market as well as online.

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Shelly La Fata Brings Columbia More Plant-Based Options With Sidebar Pop Up

Shelly La Fata began her Columbia, Missouri, pop-up concept, Sidebar, as an off-season adventure. La Fata, who also runs Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co.’s festival kitchen, uses her Italian heritage as an inspiration for Sidebar’s menu, and recently embarked on a monthlong trip to Italy where she sampled regional cuisines and gained new insight into her culinary roots. On select nights at Klick’s and Cafe Berlin, La Fata serves up a small plant-based menu, usually featuring fist-sized toasted ravioli. Columbia Farmers’ Market-goers can also occasionally pick up Sidebar’s from-scratch pasta to take home.

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Sidebar, a New Pop-Up Concept, Brings Fresh, Flavorful Plant-Based Meals to Columbia

When Shelly La Fata’s mother took her wedding vows, cooking lessons from her new mother-in-law were part of the lifelong deal. “I don’t think my dad really had a say; it was more that my grandma wanted to make sure that he continued to eat the way he had always eaten; that was important to her,” La Fata says.

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Pasta dishes pop up at Sidebar meals around Columbia

The upstairs area of DrinKraft had an air of Italy on Friday, decorated with tablecloths the colors of the Italian flag, Frank Sinatra playing from the speaker, an apron that said "Recipe? What recipe? I’m Italian!" and of course, trays of homemade lasagna.

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Why pop-up restaurants keep popping up in Columbia

In the narrow commercial kitchen of Cafe Berlin, Shelly La Fata grabs a fist-sized, Saran-wrapped dough ball. She rolls it out, then runs it through her new pasta machine. At the other end of the metal table, a tray of freshly stuffed toasted ravioli is waiting to be sold at her latest pop-up at Pizza Tree. La Fata runs Sidebar, which is a pop-up that sells Italian food around town a couple times a month.