The story of vermicellier Maison Barale began when Matteo Barale moved from Liguria in 1892 and brought the Ligurian pasta-making know-how to Nice. 130 years after, it’s still a small family affair run by Eric Guernion and Nathalie Barale, and, since 2 years, their son Thomas. (Who used to work at Alain Passard’s restaurant in Paris before moving back home during the pandemics.)
The ravioli with various fillings as well as the firm, green pasta made of wheat durum and spinach (in the videos) is all produced in the tiny factory downstairs the shop. It was like travelling in time- some of the machines date 100 years.
I didn’t have a chance to try everything, but the green pasta used by chef Dominique Le Stanc for his pâtes au pistou recipe at La Merenda Nice is truly exceptional, with a texture something in between fresh and dried pasta. What a beautiful visit and story that filled my heart with joy.
Recipe for 4 people
Fresh durum wheat pasta coloured with spinach (Dominique uses the ones by Maison Barale.
1 bundle of basil
2 garlic cloves
100 g Parmesan cheese
1 dl olive oil
Mix the basil and the garlic in a blender. Incorporate the cheese and the olive oil and continue mixing. While the pasta is boiling, heat some pistou and butter in a large bowl in the oven. Mix all the ingredients together while they are hot.