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Burro e Salvia Pastificio – bringing fresh pasta to East London in style

As you know, lately I have been spending lots of time in Italy where even finding a piece of ginger outside major cities can be challenging, which causes me to have massive withdrawal symptoms from my usual Asian food diet; but on the other hand, I am getting a renewed appreciation for Italian food, especially the home-cooked and artisan type (check out my contribution to the brilliant Food & magazine for some musings on this).  I guess it’s a “back to my roots” phase of my life in general and I am trying to get as much spiritual and physical nourishment from it as I can. But I still miss London, the urban jungle mixing with the leafy parks, the trendy edge of the East, the never-ending variety of the food offering. Italian freshly-made, quality food with a design “concept” edge  is everything Burro e Salvia Pastificio is about, and that’s probably why I loved it so much.

burro e salvia london

Burro and Salvia (Butter & Sage) is not mainly a restaurant but a “pastificio”, which is both a pasta workshop and a shop. It opened just a few weeks ago on the ubertrendy Redchurch Street – which is the most unlikely location to me for what is a staple of Italian neighbourhoods and small towns. A Pastificio is a usually tiny shop front selling only freshly made pasta and occasionally a couple of ready dishes, all prepared daily and throughout the day in the workshop at the rear. Most formats of dry pasta are cut in front of you on request. Traditionally, a pastificio will be swamped on Thursdays (the day for gnocchi) and Sundays, where is more common to eat fresh filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini. There is a ton of Italian delis in London, but I had never seen a proper pastificio before…so when I spotted Burro e Salvia opening just nearby my flat, I knew I had to try it.

burro e salvia london

I think the pictures speak for themselves about the place- it’s homely, it’s airy, it’s light, it’s Italian in a non- stereotypical modern way. Can you tell I am a bit in love?

Burro e Salvia is more than a pastificio in the Italian sense, as it does not only sell the fresh pasta (all made on the premises and often cut in front of you, with great scenic effect) and sauces and a few selected Italian products, but also offers a lovely dining area with a small but perfectly formed menu and a selection of drinks and wines from Italy. East End crowds will love the vintage looking Chinotto and Aranciata from italian premium brand Lurisia.

burro e salvia redchurch street 4

In the center you can see my “Tajarin with Bra sausage” dish – incredibly tasty yet delicate

Burro e Salvia owner Gaia comes from a career in food PR and communications, which is reflected in the attention to every detail of the branding- but she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty with making ravioli, and I can see true sparkle in her eyes as she talks passionately about her suppliers, the inspiration behind the recipes and the search for the best ingredients. And it’s not empty marketing- speak. The food is truly, absolutely delicious.

burro e salvia pastificio

Pasta fillings and sauces change with season and availability and there often are weekly “themes”, like green pasta o fish pasta– I was lucky enough to catch “truffle week”…heaven. I found that chef Luca Seminara oversees the kitchen – we had already crossed paths at a pasta tasting last year, where he showcased he has a way with pasta. The dishes at Burro e Salvia were further proof if I needed one.

burro e salvia shoreditch

Ravioli with a filling of ricotta and truffle, and the signature “agnolotti Cavour”. Truffle was fresh from the market and absolutely a steal…

My favourite was their signature format- Agnolotti Cavour, similar to small square ravioli and filled with meat and herbs. 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. Hard work totally pays off in this case. The agnolotti even beat my usually preferred ricotta-based fillings, which were also excellent accompanied by a truffle butter. I managed to also fit in some traditional “tajarin” (a square-section egg spaghetti, similar to chitarra from my native Abruzzo), with “Salsiccia di Bra”. The story of this sausage is interesting: the local butchers started to experiment with beef on sausages as the local Jewish community could not eat pork, and the tradition stuck. This salty delicacy makes a wonderful ragout that is perfect with fresh pasta.

Surprise surprise, pasta is filling (which is why Italians tend to not be fat in case you were wondering ;) and after all this tasting there was no room for dessert – but the coffee came accompanied by a sweet touch, a glass of almond milk. A typical Sicilian drink which has spread to the rest of Italy, this is no patch to any other almond milk you’ve drank and really worth trying.

burro e salvia review

Coffee at Burro e Salvia is brewed with the typical Italian “Moka” machine- the blend comes from nearby Allpress Coffee. A wise choice!

Burro e Salvia Pastificio is now firmly on my East End map- not just as a place to eat but as what it’s meant to be, a regular favourite shop for eating better food more often at home. Their prices are very reasonable as well, with an individual portion of the more expensive filled pasta coming under £5 for takeaway, complete with detailed cooking instructions. And like a true Italian pastificio, Burro e Salvia are open on Sundays. Updates on specials, new weekly themes, special offers etc. are available through their Facebook page.

Hello “gnocchi Thursday” and “ravioli Sunday”! Get yourself over there on your next stroll East and get yourself acquainted with fresh pasta as it should be. You won’t be able to buy chicken pesto tortelloni from a supermarket. A-ny-more.

burro e salvia review

A lovely takeaway bag from Burro e Salvia. They also have a guest book where people seem to be VERY appreciative…

Burro e Salvia Pastificio

52 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP London, United Kingdom

020 7739 4429

Open Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm;  Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

I was a guest of Burro e Salvia for lunch- opinions are mine  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Just had lunch there. Wonderful.

    • Hi Dave, sorry I got to this so late – holidays and Internet detox came in the way. Glad you enjoyed your lunch, what did you have?

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