Stop in for a scone and a latte and leave with the makings for a pasta supper at Haverstraw’s newest bakery.
It’s only fitting that Sofia Todisco named her new pasta shop and bakery “Flours” since she uses 14 different types of flours to make her sweet and savory confections. There’s traditional semolina and 00 flour for the rigatoni and ravioli; einkorn, a flour with a higher protein and fiber content, in other pastas; and rye flour tucked into her best-selling chocolate chip cookies.
“People will try the cookies and immediately notice something different about them, which I hope will lead them to try a rye rigatoni, which is even more out there,” says Todisco. “I want to show customers that our fresh pasta is much different than dried. There are no preservatives and I know exactly where the grains come from and when they were milled, which makes a huge difference in how they taste.”
Todisco’s path to pasta pro came about almost by accident. Back in 2019, she traveled to Bologna, Italy—where she spent three months volunteering on an agrotourism farm called Podere San Giuliano—to gain a deeper insight into Italian farming, cooking, and harvesting. The farm was short staffed, so Todisco spent part of each day working in their kitchen, where she was taught to make pasta by hand from the pastaia (pasta maker). “I learned old family recipes, regional classics, and I made a lot of pasta,” she says. “I knew that I wanted to bring the Italian philosophy—food made with the most local and seasonal ingredients possible—back home with me. Plus, pasta is the food that gives me the most comfort.”
Once she was back on American soil, Todisco turned her newfound skills into a catering business called Sofia’s Feast in January 2020—and then had to quickly pivot when the world shut down and there weren’t any parties to prep for. “I started grocery shopping for people and doing weekly meal deliveries and my fresh pasta kits were always the most popular,” says Todisco, who often paired her noodles with unexpected sauces like corn and poblano. “But I knew I didn’t want to do meal deliveries forever, so when farmers markets opened back up, I started doing them.” (She also bought a pasta making machine, which increased her output dramatically, although the ravioli and gnocchi are still made by hand.)
But Todisco’s true goal had always been to open a community space centered around homemade food crafted from quality ingredients and earlier this year, after months of scouring the real estate market, she found the perfect locale on New Main Street in Haverstraw, in a building that was once the site of The Rockland County Times.
The pasta-making station is situated in the shop’s front window, which often lures curious passersby—who then stay for a brownie or a cold brew sourced from Coffee Labs Roasters in Tarrytown. (The selection of teas is from Food is Med Farms in Westwood, New Jersey.) There’s also a light café menu featuring frittatas, French toast bakes, soups, pasta salads, and hot pasta dishes in the chillier months.
This winter, Todisco will begin hosting pop up dinners and cooking classes for kids and adults with themes like “bring home your own lasagna” or “how to make the best salad dressing” with a focus on how easy—and how much healthier—it can be to cook for yourself. Her pastas and sauces are made fresh and then frozen, for quick prep at home on those nights when you’re too tired to make a full meal from scratch. “I want to introduce the community to small-batch pasta that’s both sustainable and seasonal,” she says. “Everything that we sell here is made here, and I’m really proud of that.”