I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published July 19th 2015
Create fresh pasta that's divine
The street aroused memories of that luscious tantalising bite into a freshly baked chocolate melting moment with caramel filling. The aroma from The Essential Ingredient stirred recollections of MasterChef's Gary Mehigan's visit exactly one year ago where he demonstrated masterful cooking techniques. His appealing food was served to entice the hungry crowd and so I returned to The Essential Ingredient to learn the skill of creating homemade pasta with chef, Christine Sheppard.
Chris, as we referred to her, tells us that she is the Food Editor of the Woolworths Fresh magazine. She has a lot of knowledge which she generously shared with us and was patient with some of us who were slow in pressing and punching the dough. She was expertly assisted by one of the Essential Ingredient's staff, Zyk.
We were put into groups of two or three and each group given the task of creating a dish. One group were to create a beef and tomato sauce ragu. Another group to create Orecchiette (little ears of pasta) with sausage and radicchio. Another creation was calamari with squid ink fettuccine. Chris demonstrated how to get the ink. Pull the innards out from inside the fresh calamari. Only a little of the ink sac is added to the dough.
My daughter and I created Maultaschen, a traditional German dish which looks like large ravioli. We began with mixing the flour and fashioning it into a well then adding the egg and mixing it all together to form a soft dough.
My daughter and I worked beautifully as a team – I put the dough through the machine while she cranked the pin around and around to make long thin pieces of pasta. When we tired of this, we swapped roles.
Our first piece shredded but Team Faye was determined to get a good quality pasta out on the bench. We succeeded the second time, the third time, yay, the fourth piece of silky pasta. Looking up at the clock, time was running out.
Leaning over the counter reading the recipe, we still needed to mix the filling, cut the dough for the ravioli, cook the pasta and make a butter sauce. Is this what MasterChef is like? Sweat poured from my brow watching the other contestants (oops, participants) create their classy pastas. I was in fear of Gary or Cravat Man wandering over and telling me it needs more spice.