Christmas 2013 and Hubster bought me a pasta machine.
I knew if I kept it in the box, in the cupboard, it would never see the light of day in spite of best intentions.
So I clamped it hard and fast to the kitchen work top, where for the past 8 months, it has been passively glaring at me. Unable to avert my eyes any longer from the guilt of it's lack of use, I sourced a course and hopped on board.
Pasta is easy right? 3 main ingredients, simple eh? However, I know there is an art to this pasta lark and I was keen to learn how to do it - proper!
So on Saturday morning, I set off nice and early and made my way to Green Olive at Red Hill
on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.
The roads were quiet, apart from the incessant stream of "mamils" on bikes racing like demons to Arthur's Seat. (Mamil = Middle Aged Men In Lycra)
I took a right turn into Green Olive and meandered through beautifully pruned olive groves. Ducks and chooks scattered the gravel driveway busily pecking away and not a bit perturbed. As I pulled up in front of the lake flanked by gorgeous blue gums, I was greeted by a chipper little black and tan Kelpie called Rasa. I had such a warm feeling about the place and my day ahead and a doggie welcome can never be surpassed.
Mrs TJ was very happy.
Greg the owner was there on hand to greet me in the Farm shop, offered me a cuppa straight away whilst the 10 assembled master chefs made each others acquaintance. I was the only one there under my own steam but that was ok, everyone seemed pretty friendly.
Shane, the head chef showed us into a room at the back of the main kitchen where everything was set up for us. He was definitely no Gordon Ramsay in temperament, he was softly spoken and very gentle but perfectly clear with his instruction. Just goes to show, you don't have to be "bolshi".
|You know when you have kneaded it enough, when you prod your finger into the dough|
and the imprint stays there. If it springs back keep kneading!
We made tagliatelle and tortellini. Everyone did really well there were no disasters at all but there are some definite tips for success which made all the difference.
|I was really chuffed with my little tortellinis!|
We kept half of what we made to bring home and the other half was stored in the fridge to be cooked for our lunch. We were treated to a wine tasting from the small vineyard on the property and we were able to choose a glass of our liking to enjoy with our lunch. As we tasted there were bowls of olives from the trees I had encountered on my way in, they were absolutely delicious.
|The homemade lamb sausages looked pretty tasty too!|
With my lunch, Tagliatelle with a Puttanesca (black olives, tomatoes, capers etc) sauce, I opted for the Kelpie Bridge sparkling as it was very refreshing and not too heavy on the ABV.
The sun shone, the lake glistened, Rasa appeared for a few more guaranteed pats and the blue gums swayed in the breeze. It was at this point I would have loved to have shared the moment with Hubster and/or a friend or two. I vowed to come back for lunch with both at some point in the future.
I also marvelled somewhat enviously at the raised vegetable and herb garden and mused....... one day.
I came home armed with a bottle of their estate Pinot Noir, some lovely fat olives, some gluggy, unctuous olive oil and a snazzy pair of herb scissors..... oh and the pasta know how!
All in all t'was a fine day albeit a tad messy!