Chef Giuliano Matarese won acclaim for his upscale Italian fare at Mille Lire (which closed in 2020 after the death of its owner). Since the end of 2023, he’s been garnering an enthusiastic following for house-made pasta at his own fast-casual concept on Richardson’s north side. Located in the Shire development, the new restaurant owes its cheery atmosphere to a giant pop art poster of “Miss Pasta,” Italian cafe music, and garlands of faux greenery strewn across the ceiling. After ordering at the counter, we sat down at a Formica-type table to await our choices. They arrived in ample, straight-sided paper bowls on metal trays, with metal flatware. The polpette were outstanding, the zesty meatballs blanketed in a fresh-tasting red sauce and served with a large wedge of soft focaccia, perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce. Cresto di Gallo, Broccoli e Salsiccia was another winner: perfectly al dente, curvy-tubed pasta with pleasantly bitter broccoli rabe, crumbled Italian sausage, and Pecorino Romano cheese, all under a shower of garlicky breadcrumbs. Curious to check out the filled pasta, we ordered the spinach and ricotta tortelli, which came tossed in a fresh sage-butter sauce. Pillowy gnocchi were offered with a choice of sauces; we liked the little dumplings best with the luscious and vibrant basil pesto. Although our final choice, lasagna, had great flavor—that bolognese sauce!—the noodles had softened too much in the oven. Next time, we’ll save room for more starters and tiramisù.