Ready or not, we have the BEST fresh pasta in town from our new friends at Baldassarre.

Born in Montreal and raised in Vaughan, Leandro Baldassarre’s first pasta-making experience was helping his nonna roll gnocchi and pinch ravioli. At 18, he started cooking professionally at Splendido, where he learned to make dough for egg yolk ravioli, capunti and pappardelle. In 2007, wanting to “get his ass kicked,” he says, in a Michelin-starred restaurant, he moved to Italy and started working at Dal Pescatore, the kind of restaurant whose website includes helicopter directions. It was the education and adventure he craved. When family and the desire to put down roots beckoned, he returned to Toronto.

Baldassarre’s old boss from Splendido, chef David Lee, became his landlord and first customer. In February 2010, renting a basement space from Lee on College Street, he invested $1,600 in equipment, mostly a hand-crank Imperia roller, a work table and broomsticks from which to hang pasta. He sold to Lee’s restaurant, Nota Bene, then Stock, Reds, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and eventually multiple Oliver & Bonacini locations.

“The reason I started operating is because the food industry in this city has a short attention span. I wanted to put some roots in before the market was saturated with similar things. And I think it was worth it. It was completely worth it. If I had waited, it might have been a little too late.”

For more information, we encourage you to check out the Baldassarre website to learn about the process, quality and tradition behind their products.