By Prue Rosser, Wooragee Landcare
Growing and cooking as much of our food as possible not only assists in our appreciation of it, but also intensifies the taste. While this is not always practical, it is simple to make our own pasta and sauces.
We drove to Bright on a lovely Saturday morning, arriving at Simone’s cooking school for coffee and Franca’s persimmon cookies. We met our classmates and put on our aprons, in the lovely sunny room that is the cooking school. The class was a group of foodies of all ages including a trio of blokes from Torquay in town for a family get together combining some useful education along with some great eating and drinking at Simone’s.
Patrizia started the sauce making process with some quality oil, onions, tomatoes and pork. They simmered away while we got on with the pasta making. Free range eggs and good pasta making flour were gathered together to make a stiff but silky dough. It was rested and then we ran it through the school’s pasta rolling machines, a couple of times on 1, folded and then 3,5,7 depending on what was the style of pasta required; Lasagna, cannelloni, fettuccini and spaghetti.
The bolognaise was the best I had ever tasted, a testament to simple good flavours winning over tricky layers. Patrizia showed us how to turn some simple onions and good quality italian tomatoes into the base for everything from pizza to soup, not to mention a fantastic pasta sauce.
Our entree was a marinara which was a combination of barramundi, mussels, scallops and prawns combined with a lavish tomato, garlic and parsley sauce.
This was followed by open lasagne with cauliflower, mushrooms and hazelnuts, a flavoursome vegetarian meal in which the carnivores didn’t miss the meat. But we couldn’t have seconds because we had cannelloni with chicken, pine nuts, spinach and mozzarella to fit in! Only improved by the delicious prosecco and Sangiovese George poured for us and the salad of fennel and orange was just what our palates needed between the courses. The day was a great mix of Patrizia’s teaching and stories, together with eating and drinking, and a little work to make the pasta for our meal and some to take home.