My name is Sanja and I am Master Pasta Maker. I was born in Pula, Istria (Croatia) to a half Croatian family of Italian origin and half Serbian. Since I was little, I have been lucky enough to enjoy the mix of these three cultures that were also transmitted through food. I pleasantly remember the large family tables full of homemade dishes, where there was never a lack of fresh pasta, gnocchi, ragù, sweets, biscuits, especially on festive occasions. On religious occasions, Christmas, Easter, the party was double! Being a Catholic mom and an Orthodox dad, we both always celebrated. A joy for us children.
Later I lived in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and, for the last 20 years, in Italy. I married a fantastic Apulian man and we first lived in Rome and we have been in Padua for 4 years.
“making pasta professionally gives me satisfaction: I can express my passion for food with creativity”
During my university studies, I had the opportunity to make various work experiences in pastry, bakery and food shops. Up to being employed at the Ministry of Public Works in Belgrade. In Italy I had other administrative work experiences until 2017, when, arriving in Padua, I decided to reinvent myself in an artisan job, driven by my passion for cooking. I attended the course for Master Pasta Maker at the Academy of Professions in Padua, obtaining the qualification of Artisan Pasta Maker. I did a three-month internship at the renowned Osteria dell’Orsa pasta factory in Bologna. Then I worked for a short period at a local pasta factory.
I am delighted with the choice made: in my life I have always cooked, looking for and using local ingredients with curiosity, documenting myself on the various preparations. Now, making pasta professionally gives me satisfaction: I can express my passion for food with creativity, using the oldest tool in the world, my hands. Even if I have been in this profession for a few years, the previous knowledge of food assimilated during my life path, from Balkan cuisine to Italian cuisine, facilitates me a lot.
During the training course, in the laboratory and in the internship, I learned to mainly make traditional fresh pasta shapes. Such as tortellini, ravioli, lasagna etc. During the lockdown in 2020 I ventured to explore new solutions: from coloured pasta to non-traditional shapes, from the use of different flours (local and national, organic, wholemeal, rice, spelled, etc.) to the creation of doughs with mixes of different flours, from classic to more daring fillings.
For me the key to improving the quality of life is good nutrition. So it is essential to use fresh, seasonal and quality ingredients, organic and local whenever possible, to offer an artisan, healthy and genuine product, trying to reduce the industrial food that invades our tables.