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Green porcini tortelli.
No. 45

Famiglia Baldassarre

EVER SINCE OWNER LEANDRO BALDASSARRE launched his no-frills lunch service in 2017 as an add-on to his pasta manufacturing commissary, there have been lineups down the block. Why? Because Leo, who cooked his way through various Toronto kitchens before perfecting his pasta-making craft at Lombardy’s legendary Dal Pescatore, is a local icon. For over a decade his pastas have been served at the best high-end restaurants in town. At Baldassarre, you can instead enjoy his agnolotti Piemontese and other pastas with classic sauces like cacio e pepe and all’amatriciana at a modest price (and in a more memorable and immediate setting). All are made to order and impeccable — even when, because you couldn’t grab one of the nine or so seats in the joint, you’re eating it from a takeout clamshell. Sides like insalata di barbabietole (a perfect little salad of Ontario beets), creamy fior di latte, and D.O.P. crudo di Parma — not to mention a nice little shelf of grab-and-go wine — let you assemble what feels like a Tuscan picnic no matter where you end up tucking in, disposable cutlery and all. Do not expect conventional restaurant amenities. Do be prepared to wait longer than you expected, then a little longer. You won’t regret it.

Bar none the best pasta in Canada. Vanya Filipovic
Don’t be in a hurry.

Photography by @Opticalmealfinder (Tortellini), Leandro Baldassarre (Tortelli Verdi, Team)

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