There's nothing quite like freshly made pasta. These days there are a number of decent options available at most Australian supermarkets, but while your Latina Fresh and Barilla are perfectly adequate, the stuff made from fresh ingredients with time-honoured Italian methods has a taste and texture that's impossible to match.
Little embellishment is required when using a home-made pasta, whether you opt for one of the basic shapes like fettuccini or penne, or something more elaborate, like stuffed ravioli.
Sometimes a simple, tangy tomato sauce is the best complement to a fresh egg pasta. For that reason, and because we love our readers, we're including a sauce recipe to go along with our fresh pasta guide, which you can make at home.
Enjoy your pasta eating and let us know how you go.
Christian Gruber and David Cotelli are the chefs behind the delightful range of pastas on offer at CJ's. Aside from the usual shaped and flat varieties, the boys have come up with such treats as sweet potato and thyme gnocchi and chicken, and brie and smoked almond ravioli. There are also eight kinds of sauces you can choose from if you want your whole meal sorted.
Where: 26 Horan St, West End
The team from Pasta al Dente have been selling lovely fresh pasta from their West End store since 1979. Rigatoni, spirali and maccheroncini, long pastas, and seven different types of ravioli ought to satisfy all your needs. You'll also find some classic, sumptuous sauce options, with a couple of twists on the traditional, such as the macadamia sauce. There is even a mini restaurant, where folk can take their pick from one of several freshly prepared dishes every day.
Where: 165 Melbourne St, South Brisbane
Another quaint family business where you can either stop in for a bite or swing by on the way home to pick up a batch of authentic Italian-style pasta. Salvatore Saffioti hails from northern Italy and ended up in Brisbane via Melbourne, bringing with him a love of authentic Italian flavours. His wife Kerryn adds a love of Asian cooking into the mix, and this fusion has resulted in some tantalising taste creations coming out of the Kelvin Grove cottage that The Pasta Company calls home. The adjoining Pasta Pizza Deli stocks all kinds of Mediterranean deliciousness and is well worth a visit as well.
Where: 15A Bishop St, Kelvin Grove
They've been making superb pasta for over 45 years and have a host of awards to prove it. Angelo's keep producing an excellent product thanks to the quality local ingredients they use in their recipes, and they are the trusted supplier for a number of retailers and wholesalers. That doesn't mean you can't head straight to the source, though, as all Angelo's products are available in their Valley shop. I particularly recommend their ricotta and spinach ravioli; I grew up on the stuff.
Where: 22 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley
Pasta Sauce Recipe
1 kg well-ripened vine tomatoes (good quality diced canned tomatoes also work well)
3 tbsp olive oil
half an onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sugar
splash of red wine
handful of fresh basic leaves
Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minute until skins split. Remove and peel, then roughly chop. Cook onion in a large fry pan for about five minutes, until clear, and add garlic for another two minutes or so. Add in the tomatoes and simmer, crushing them up further with wooden spoon. Add a dash of red wine, the sugar, basil leaves and salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes if you want a fresh, tangy tasting sauce, or for around 45 minutes if you prefer a thicker sauce with a richer flavour.
Combine with your freshly cooked pasta and serve, topped with a sprinkling of parmesan and a dash of olive oil. You can also use this tomato sauce as a base and expanding on it by adding in fried chorizo chunks, bacon, mushrooms, or whatever your little heart desires.
Image credit: Chef This Up