Borgatti’s Ravioli brings fresh pasta from the Bronx to the world

The wall of recipes at Borgatti’s
Photo Emily Swanson

Borgatti’s Ravioli and Egg Noodles in Little Italy — family-run since 1932 — is a carb-lover’s dream. 

Shelves are stocked with colorful dried fettuccine in flavors like red pepper, basil and spinach. Rolled cavatelle, like little shells, are scooped out of a bin. Noodles are to order cut from fresh pasta sheets to the customer’s chosen width. And then there are racks upon racks of their famous cheese-filled ravioli.   

To the Borgatti family, it’s all part of the job they love. 

“It’s a rewarding experience, being able to work with my family,” said Chris Borgatti, whose wife Joan and children Chris Jr. and Liz — the fourth generation — all have a role in running the business. 

Each day is all hands on deck. Daily tasks from cleaning to pasta making to shipping to repairing machines are handled by the family. Though Borgatti said it required “a lot of sacrifice” when the kids were young, they look back fondly on their unique upbringing. 

“How many kids got to use cornmeal as a sandbox?” said Chris Jr. with a laugh. 

Photo Emily Swanson

Over the years, the business has grown from its humble roots as a tiny storefront first opened by Lindo and Maria Borgatti from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, who married in 1907, immigrated to the U.S. and had eight sons — one of whom was Chris Borgatti’s father, Mario. Chris, who has worked in the shop since he was 18, inherited the shop and has continued the legacy with his own family. 

Nowadays, many people know the Borgatti name and its numerous products and assume it’s a big company — but everything at the shop is made from scratch, “not factory mass-produced,” said Liz. 

Chris Jr. added that some customers are shocked to learn that everything they offer is “made by, like, three people.”

Chris Jr. and Liz say they actually tried to stay away from the family business, and their parents encouraged them to go to college and pursue their own interests. Joan said she told them, “You can always come back here.” And after college, both found their way back to the shop.

Liz, 32, was the creative one. She previously worked as a graphic designer and makeup artist and now she is the art director for the shop, managing its branding and social media.

Chris Jr., 30, studied business at Fordham University but found that the family could use his help too — especially as nationwide shipping began to take off. 

Joan was the brains behind the shipping aspect, which launched in 2015. At first, they were only sending out a handful of boxes per week. 

But before long, business exploded — thanks largely to digital advertising — and now, Borgatti’s ships its products all over the country. Customers can also place orders online for pickup or delivery within 30 miles. 

Fresh pasta sheets on standby, alongside generations-old family photos. Photo Emily Swanson

Online ordering is convenient — but the Borgattis said many customers go out of their way to get their hands on their favorite pasta because they recognize how special it is. 

“We’ve lost a lot of that generation that knows how to make this stuff by hand,” said Chris Jr. “It’s all about how you make it and what you use to make it.” 

During the pandemic, the Borgattis found their sales actually multiplied. Families were buying the same products they normally served at celebrations but preparing them in separate households — helping them maintain traditions while apart. 

To the Borgattis, it is deeply meaningful to know that their recipes have been the star of so many families’ tables. “That’s a great connection to have,” said Chris Jr.

He said the shop gets a lot of foot traffic but also of out-of-state sales, especially from those who used to live locally but have since moved away. Some even try to find ways to travel with their pasta — Chris Jr. said that some will say, “‘To hell with customs, I’m taking these home with me’” or “‘How long can ravioli last in the car?’”

As business has taken off, the family has adapted to try new things. After all, it’s not 1932 anymore.  

Borgatti’s has partnered with local butcher shops to offer special product combos. They’ve put out a “Starch Madness” pasta bracket, in the style of the NCAA March Madness tournament. The siblings even went “on the road” to Talea Beer Co. in Brooklyn and cooked up some pasta favorites to serve alongside a newly-released Italian pilsner. 

After so many years, the business has hit the sweet spot of not too big, not too small. And what hasn’t changed is that the family’s pride in passing along their legacy to countless others. 

“It makes you part of someone’s family,” said Chris Jr. “Let’s get to 100 years and go beyond that.”

Reach Emily Swanson at or (646) 717-0015. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes