What is a pasta laboratory? It’s the first question most people ask when told about Ripiena, due to open in Fortitude Valley in the coming weeks.
Co-owners Anita Schenk and Nicolo’ Campagnari describe a “pasta laboratorio” as similar to a bakery. Product is made daily with a focus on take-home options, but with a small kitchen and a few tables for those who wish to eat in.
“Everyone wants to see an Italian restaurant as fine dining,” Verona-native Campagnari says. “But when I go out with my friends in Italy, we rarely go to a fine dining spot – we go to the neighbourhood pasta shop.”
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For pasta-making, where there are so few ingredients, quality is critical. Campagnari and business partner Anita Schenk will import flour from Italy and use eggs from local farm Roseberry Creek, where hens are capped at 400 to maintain the best living conditions.
“There are very few variables. You need to be able to control the ones you do have,” Schenk says.
Ripiena in Italian translates to “filled” or “stuffed”. As the name suggests, the menu will have a particular focus on filled pasta, including the famous tortellini from Bologna where the recipe is registered with the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna.
Campagnari will be following the recipe using protected designation of origin (DOP) products such as mortadella from Bologna, prosciutto from Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Alongside the tortellini will be seasonal filled pastas using locally sourced ingredients and a standard non-filled pasta range. Sauces and Italian desserts will also be available, all made with simple Italian traditions in mind.
The site on the corner of Ann and East streets is still under construction but designs by Schenk include an open kitchen space where guests will be able to watch the pasta-making process, bench tops made from recovered Australian cedar wood and black metal furnishings.