One of my enduring memories of living in Italy is pasta – a cliché perhaps, but damn, do they do it well in Bologna. Peering through shop windows, you’d see ancient ladies rolling, stuffing and folding golden-hued parcels. Every bakery and deli had counters groaning with the stuff.
At Italian-owned Burro e Salvia young, friendly staff make pasta from scratch behind the counter at the front of this deli/café. Their finished wares are displayed on mesh trays, to take home or eat in the ‘tasting corner’. It’s a far cry from Bologna, but watching the pasta-makers at work still gave me a warm glow.
Named after a classic accompaniment to stuffed pasta – butter and sage – this new café serves almost nothing but the Italian staple. On our visit the weekly changing menu featured tagliatelle, agnolotti, ravioli and tajarin – a Piedmontese egg-yolk-rich thin tagliatelle. And everything we tried had just the right al dente texture. Ricotta and citrus zest stuffed parcels were the highlight, given savoury depth by a grating of bottarga – dried, salted mullet roe.
The only quibbles – no windows in the diminutive dining room (although there is a skylight) and no salads on the menu except Russian, which is even more carb. But hey, the pasta’s good here and it’s licensed, so you can have some of their small selection of Italian wines to go with your food.