Brisbane’s first ever pasta laboratory, Ripiena takes a different approach to dinner. Their production model is similar to a bakery, with product made fresh a few times a day, except for pasta. Mixed, rolled, filled, and shaped by hand, every single tortellino coming out of Ripiena’s kitchen is a hand-crafted work of art. Honestly, it’s like eating silk pillows.
Head pasta maker, Nicolo Campagnari, wasn’t always in the pasta game. Coming from a background in finance, Nicolo decided to chase his passion for cooking after meeting his wife Anita while working in Beijing. The couple relocated to Anita’s hometown of Brisbane to build their dream of a pasta workshop, and after months of hard work Ripiena was born.
The name ‘ripiena’ is the Italian word for ‘filled’ and refers to the house specialty of filled pastas like tortellini and ravioli. Naturally, there are only two elements for filled pasta, dough and filling, so it’s vital that they’re both executed perfectly. The pasta dough alone only has three ingredients, so there is nowhere to hide and Ripiena doesn’t cut corners on anything.
Using only the best quality ingredients, Ripiena’s precise approach begins with the quality and combination of the flours they use, the surface the dough is rolled on, and even the feed for the hens who lay the eggs. Basically if there’s a variable, they’re all over it, which is what makes them a laboratory.
This laser focus and attention to detail extends to the culinary tradition inherent in their menu. Expect no whacky or bizarre flavours, just pure and classic Italian ingredients executed with traditional methods. Take for example the pork in the tortellini di Bologna. It gets marinated for a full 24 hours before being mixed in with proscuitto, mortadella and parmigiano reggiano then left for another 24 hour cycle. The resultant mix is eye-poppingly delicious and a perfect example of where all the hard work goes.
Get down to Ripiena and try it for yourself, or pick up some fresh made pasta to cook yourself at home.
Image credit: Grace Elizabeth Images for Urban List