The fresh pasta boutique was created by Guarnieri Architects with the collaboration of decorator Lise Casalegno Marro
Can you eat a real pasta dish in London? One great place is “Burro e Salvia” in Shoreditch, the Italian pasta shop where you can buy fresh pasta and cook it at home. The idea, and the hands in the dough, is the brainchild of Gaia Enria who, after a sixteen-year career in the field of communication and marketing in Turin, Milan and London, decided to dedicate herself to making gourmet products in the artisanal tradition.
«During my years in London, I dealt with Italian brands in the food&beverage field and I realized that I missed the “pastificio”, the fresh pasta shop, as a concept, said Gaia in discussing how she got the idea for “Burro e Salvia”. So many venues still convey the stereotypical image of “sausages and plaits of garlic” that has nothing to do with us. During a trip to Modena, I was invited by my friends from Slow Food to a meeting of “sfogline”, the women who make pasta with a rolling pin. And I had a vision!»
At that point, Gaia decided to learn the profession, so she went to the “Pastificio Sapori” in Turin, where Iva and Maurizio Tassinari have been working for over thirty years making fresh pasta exclusively by hand, and “Le Sfogline” in Bologna, where for over twenty years Renata Zappoli, with her daughters Daniela and Monica, have been offering a wider public what she had always prepared every Sunday in her own kitchen.
«Between one round of pasta and another, I wrote my business plan», continues Gaia, one of those people who are capable of reinventing themselves, as the market requires today. «I have no regrets about leaving the world of communication, she explains, because communicating through food is an incredible experience», she says.
The dish that recurs in the dreams of the customers who shop in her pastificio in London is without a doubt the Agnolotti Cavour with butter and sage; other choices include the Tajarin with sausage ragout, Cappelletti with liquid parmesan and fine black truffle, Strozzapreti with Sicilian pesto, Tortellini bolognesi, Squash tortellini with butter and thyme. Gaia’s guests, from London or abroad, appreciate good food, and many of them are “nostalgic” Italians who find the atmosphere and flavours of home at “Burro e Salvia”.
Gaia Enria’s ace in the hole is a model built on values: tradition, research, quality, humanity
«So if I consider the world of food&beverage, explains Gaia, I find delis and trattorie to be on a par, but I never disdain a certain type of fine dining». There is in fact yet another element that, along with the quality of the food and wine, helps to define the success of “Burro e Salvia”: the design of the interior, the desire to offer a warm and friendly atmosphere in which the customer feels gratified by an experience that also gives him aesthetic pleasure. It is no coincidence that the owner turned to a team of architects to design her venue. She chose Guarnieri Architects, a firm based in London and led by Marco Guarnieri who, after graduating from IUAV university in Venice, worked for Zaha Hadid Architects and Foreign Office Architects before opening his own firm in 2005.
The project responds to the challenge of creating a domestic yet contemporary atmosphere
When you walk into “Burro e Salvia”, you find yourself in the zone dedicated to cooking, with an open kitchen, and the sale of fresh pasta; moving past it you walk into the dining area, decorated with vintage furniture found in the historic “Balon” flea market in Turin. A distinctive element of the project is the artificial lighting, with hanging lamps made of recycled cardboard, the kind used for egg crates. « (…) Not only are they sustainable, they are also fitting because eggs are one of the main ingredients in fresh pasta», explains Guarnieri. The owner is also very satisfied: « For me, it was essential to work with the architect. He was successful in interpreting my vision of a space that, while commercial, feels like home. An important factor was the development of the colour scheme by decorator Lise Casalegno Marro, who chose to paint the walls with the natural colours of flour and eggs».
Ingredients for 2 people
For the dough: 2 medium eggs, 200 gr flour 00.
For the sauce: 250 gr of fresh peas, 1/2 shallot, 1 clove garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, 1 burrata 125 gr, 2 slices of prosciutto cut thick (1 millimetre).
In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the dough. When it is not too wet, turn it over onto a wooden board and knead for 5 minutes, until it forms a soft elastic ball. Let it rest for 15 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until you get a long sheet about 1 millimeter thick. Dust well with semola and then with the help of a pasta-cutter, cut into squares about 5-6 cm per side, and then into triangles. In the meantime, delicately sauté the shallot cut into julienne slices and the garlic, with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the fresh peas and sauté for about 20 minutes, adding a bit of water to soften them. Remove 1/3 of the peas and leave them whole. Continue to cook the others adding water until they become soft. Turn off the heat and when they are cool, purée them to make a soft but not perfectly smooth cream. Lay the prosciutto between two sheets of wax paper and put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 160 degrees. When the prosciutto is crunchy and has cooled, break it into smaller pieces for the final garnish. Boil the maltagliati for 2/3 minutes in salt water, then add the re-heated pea sauce to the pan and sauté for a minute. Add the whole peas, the burrata, a bit of olive oil and the prosciutto. Enjoy!
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translation by Olga Barmine