Burro e Salvia in Shoreditch is the first artisan pastificio in London, a shop where you can either buy freshly made pasta to cook at home or sit down for a lovely Italian lunch.
A few weeks ago I was invited by the owner Gaia to preview the shop, learn more about the idea and team behind Burro e Salvia and of course taste their amazing pasta.
Fresh pasta is simply a return to our basics. It is about a process, small rituals and slowing down: making things instead of buying them ready-made, or enjoying a meal at home with family and friends. Fresh pasta is a lifestyle and a culture that is the envy of the world.
Burro e Salvia is halfway through a pasta workshop and a design store, so much is the attention to details (from the stylish aprons to the cardboard lamps, from the yellow details to the minimalist packaging). Also most of the objects and products used in the shop are also available to buy.
Burro e Salvia fits perfectly in the trendy Redchurch Street with neighbours such as Kiehls, Albion, Allpress Espresso and designer clothing stores.
Serena of Into the F World came along with me and I recommend you to read her blog post to learn more about the Italian tradition of pastificio.
We arrived at noon, Gaia was working behind the counter, passing pasta through the machine which she then cut in rounds and filled to make ravioli or in strings to make fettuccine.
The shop is comprised of two rooms: the main room at the front with the pasta counter and a working station; a short corridor leading to a small back room, brightly lit thanks to a skylight ceiling. We sat down at the rustic table and ordered a plate of ham to start.
When it was time to choose which pasta to order we couldn't make a decision, as we wanted to try it all! I ordered Agnolotti Cavour, a kind of square ravioli filled with meat and typical of Piedmont.
The thin, melt-in the mouth dough complements perfectly the unique munchy texture of the filling , which is obtained by shredding and pounding the meat by hand rather than on a blender, following a recipe by the most renowned pasta artisans in Turin, Italy.
Serena ordered Tajarin with Salsicce di Bra (another Piedmont specialty, tajarin are a thinner version of egg tagliatelle) and then we also shared a small portion of Ravioli with Ricotta and Truffle.
All the dishes that we tried were well-cooked and had an authentic taste. My stomach is rumbling just thinking about them!
We ended the meal with a coffee, served at the table in the Bialetti Moka that was used to make it (also on sale in the shop). The coffee was an Espresso blend from nearby Allpress. Interestingly, it was served with almond milk, an unusual choice for an Italian shop, one that we appreciated as it gave the coffee a deliciously sweet and nutty taste.
I got a portion of fresh ravioli to take home, which I cooked for dinner the next day, simply with butter and sage (that's "burro e salvia" in Italian). They were delicious, a dish so easy to prepare at home, anybody can do it. For those less used to cooking pasta, no fear as all Burro e Salvia takeaway boxes come with a step-by-step cooking card! :) No excuses!
Disclaimer: I was a guest at Burro e Salvia. All opinions are my own.