Bennington captured my heart the first time I passed through it as an eleven-year-old on a Greyhound bus. Rolling into town the Fish Fry had a sign on the door: Closed for the season. Reason? Freezin’! It was an idyllic place with white church spires and huge old houses. Throughout my life I would find myself visiting and living in Bennington until finally, in 2015, Kris and I made it our permanent home. One of the best ways to live ethically is to support local businesses and spread the word about them. That’s what I’m doing today. If you’re local, I hope you’ll visit and consider sharing this post about our local pasta shop, DiBuono Ravioli Company!
An Interview With Chef Scott Sanfilippo of DiBuono Ravioli Company (Bennington, VT)
First off, a HUGE thank you to Chef Scott. He was more than willing to answer questions and gave such thorough answers I’m mostly just cutting and pasting. His care about our community and his work is so evident in the thoughtful, thorough answers he provided. Imagine the care that goes into crafting his amazing food!
This is where we live, this is our home. We have been always looking for the perfect little pasta shop and when this space became available, I knew it was the the right one and the right time and place.
We wanted to be a part of the community that we live in. Sarah, my wife, is the Director of the library at Southern Vermont College and I, “ the ravioli guy”, feed the people of the community.
Do you source locally, why?
Of course. I chose to attend the New England Culinary Institute because I knew that they had a gardening class which helped to supply the school with fresh produce while teaching the freshman culinary students about how food grows. This was my very first class at NECI and it made an impression on all of us. My former classmates, who are out there doing wonderful food around the country, work very hard to find the best quality local ingredients, What’s even more important is developing lasting relationships with the people who produce our foods.
On the menu blackboard in my shop is a list of the local farms and other businesses with whom DiBuono Ravioli Company currently has relationships, most of which I have been working with for the past fifteen years. It isn’t everyone by far, but I hope it helps to show the importance of supporting local businesses.
Do you use any environmentally friendly practices in your process?
Thankfully my process creates very little waste. I use very little water, usually only several cups worth per batch of dough.
I try to limit the amount of packaging that I use with my product, keeping it simple. Perhaps at the expense of looking professional, but I know my customers understand. I like to use recyclable packaging or something that can be reused.
Favorite unexpected flavor combo?
My favorite unexpected flavor combo has to be the truffled mushroom filling for the ravioli. I knew it was going to be good, but wow, I didn’t expect it to be that good. It came out creamy and mushroomy with the perfect hint of truffle. They’re pretty dreamy.
You can only have 3 spices in your kitchen (aside from salt and pepper) what are they?
Garlic, cumin and coriander. This question is harder than I thought it would be. It is very difficult for me to choose, it’s like trying to choose your favorite record album. I feel that with these, I can create a wide variety of dishes for us to eat at home.
The pasta-making secret every aspiring pasta maker should know?
Be patient. “Dough happens” is one of my slogans. It means that dough will happen when it wants to happen, you can’t force it and you can’t rush it. Once the kneading process is finished, the gluten in the dough needs to relax. Resting the dough is probably one of the most important rules in working with dough. It is elastic by nature and wants to shrink back. By allowing dough to rest, covered as not create a dry surface film, it can be stretched and worked with the way you would expect. Try to stretch it too early and you can easily be frustrated because it just won’t do. Have a drink, a conversation to relax yourself and come back to the dough once it has relaxed. You’ll both feel better.
Does weather influence pasta making?
Pasta making is most definitely influenced by humidity, temperature and even micro-climates from one town to the next. The dough gets real tricky on humid, rainy days. It just never seems to firm up properly, or else you add so much extra flour that you lose the elasticity and suppleness of the dough. After thirty years of dough making, I have learned how to make these adjustments, but a controlled environment is the best for consistency.
Any upcoming events?
We are approaching our one year anniversary of being open. We opened on Valentine’s Day weekend with the “Cyrano”, a romantic dinner package for two. It included a dozen ravioli, homemade garlic baguette, a couple of chocolate roses made by the Village Chocolate Shoppe, some of our Rustic tomato sauce and some biscotti made by Paper, Cake Scissors. It was a great way to introduce myself and it was very popular. We will be bringing back the romantic dinner for two this coming Valentine’s Day as well, but this year we are calling it the “Cara Mia” (my dear). You can call to order or contact us through email.
Any future plans you can share?
We are very excited to begin cooking classes. This will be a way to have fun through the late winter/mud season doldrums and maybe take away a little of the fear in pasta making. Right now we attend the Dorset Farmers’ Market on Sunday and we are looking to expand into other markets as well.
Fav flavor of your ravioli and the wine you pair them with?
My favorite are the Lobster with lemon and dill. They are rich and lovely and pair wonderfully with a crisp Gewürztraminer or a fine Riesling.
More About DiBuono Ravioli Company
Chef Scott grew up in Buffalo, NY, where he worked in restaurants and made pasta as a teenager. He learned pasta making from his family and the shop uses his maternal grandparents’ name as an homage.
Sanfilippo attended the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT where he was taught by skilled, professional staff. He also completed internships in Stowe and Nantucket. Post-graduation he worked crafting gourmet breakfasts at The Pitcher Inn in Warren, VT.
As a talented chef himself, he has given back to his alma mater. Chef Scott taught Meat Fabrication (butchering) at NECI. He then moved to Southern Vermont where he managed the food service department at the Buxton School in Williamstown, MA.
Chef Scott has brought his passion for pasta-making and teaching to Downtown Bennington through DiBuono and we are lucky to have him here!
The Oethical Oenologist’s Favorite Pairing
Kris and I love Dibuono and regularly walk up to get dinner for the evening. We always have too much wine in the house; DiBuono Ravioli Company allows us to pair a bottle with restaurant-quality ravioli.
Recently we enjoyed Chef Scott’s truffled mushroom ravioli and alfredo sauce with a 2015 Rhône red blend. The wine was deep garnet with medium-high viscosity. On the nose there was raspberry, black pepper and a hint of nutmeg. It’s jammy and has a delicious hint of raspberry pastilles, giving it a roundness to the tart berry.
Red with white sauce?! Yes! This particular blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah from the Rhône pairs best with mushrooms and the soft sandpaper tannins offer the perfect textural balance to the creaminess of the cheese and the sauce. The dry, medium (-) acidity, medium (+) body red blend is the absolute best pairing for DiBuono Ravioli Company truffled mushroom ravioli.
Try It For Yourself!
DiBuono Ravioli Company is located at 512 Main Street in Downtown Bennington, VT. It is on the North side of Main Street with super convenient free street parking and a free lot behind the building (enter from Pleasant St.) if downtown is hoppin’. The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at the Dorset Farmers’ Market on Sundays.
Interested in the Valentine’s Day Deal? Call the shop at 802.823.2020 or email them to take advantage of this awesome offering.