Last week my husband bought me a pasta machine as a surprise gift. How could I not make fresh ravioli for my first post! Early Saturday morning I headed to the Rocklea markets to locate local eggs, flour, ricotta, parmesan and mushrooms. These markets are conveniently close to home and the Saturday markets have an emphasis on fruit and vegetables, deli goods, meat, seafood, bread, flowers and plants. Don’t assume everything for sale is local, you do have to inspect the product boxes or ask the stall holders if its origin is not clearly labeled.
The free range eggs I buy come from Tenterfield, NSW. They are produced and packed by Kelvin Waugh in Mt Mackenzie which lies just outside of the Tenterfield township. I feel a particular bond with Tenterfield, I got married in the rotunda at Jubilee park. We go down there a few times a year to experience the distinct seasons. Next time I might visit the egg farm for some STC research.
Next on the list – parmesan & ricotta. I stopped by the Maleny cheese stall and tried buffalo quark which has a light soft texture and is made from Maleny water buffalo milk. An interesting alternative to ricotta, I bought a tub. The parmesan I was told, came from Tasmania, so I tasted the Bucaro Pepato with peppercorns. It had a hard rind, crumbly texture and strong flavour – I was sold. The Maleny Cheese website provides a list of stockists.
I stopped by the Highfields Lavender stall that stocked Kialla Pure Food Organic Grain. The lady at the stall told me that Kialla used to be stocked in the major supermarkets but is no longer available. She’s bringing the product back in the public eye. The Kialla mill is located near Toowoomba and they source the organic crops from central Queensland through to Victoria. The grains are 100% certified organic GMO free. There were a variety of flours to select from and I wanted the spelt but at a cost of $24 I opted for a 1kg bag of stone ground wholemeal flour. The Kialla website provides a list of stockists by state.
After a few laps of the stalls on the hunt for local dried mushrooms I was astounded that the only ones I could find came from Korea. Thankfully, this was appropriately labeled. At the Swiss Brown mushroom stall the mushrooms were of a high grade, firm and dry. There was no signage to indicate the provenance of the mushrooms so I asked the stall owner. He told me they came from Caboulture and if there was one thing he could assure me it was that his mushrooms were fresh because he had picked them off the truck at 4am that morning and they had been picked the night before. You could tell by looking at them; these were fresh mushrooms. I grabbed some of his first grade strawberries too, they looked sensational.
MY SHOPPING LIST
Using my fresh produce I made my ravioli. It took some time to beat the pasta dough into submission. I read somewhere that you will know when your pasta dough is ready to put through the machine. I kept kneading it until it felt right and yes I now agree you can tell when its ready. Next time, I will take some more photos of this process.
I made up the recipe as I went along but have shared the rough ingredients for those interested.
5 eggs and 3 cups stone ground wholemeal flour.
A few generous scoops of Buffalo quark
½ bag of swiss brown mushrooms (oven roasted with olive oil)
grated whole nutmeg
few grinds of pepper
clove of garlic.
grated Bucaro Pepato and fresh basil.
cream, garlic, pureed oven roasted fresh tomatoes and basil.