Pasta Poetry is bringing a bit of northern Italy to Station Street in Fairfield – serving fresh, handmade pasta just how you’d find it on the streets of Bologna.
“The tradition of handmade pasta is kind of dying out as we lose the older generation, but we’re trying to bring it back,” says executive chef Elena Kavallaris.
Kavallaris spent six months learning the art of pasta-making in Bologna. And she says there are several subtle points of difference between pasta made there versus other regions. Notably, the dough.
“The nonnas roll their dough, like, 70 or 80 times with rolling pins to make it really fine,” she says. They also twist it a certain way to create a texture that encourages the sauce to stick. This process is tedious but, with the help of a specialty pasta machine, the team has been able to expedite things. “It’s old traditions but new techniques,” says Kavallaris.
You’ll find her dough sliced into tagliatelle, delicately folded into spinach-and-ricotta tortelli, crimped into ox-tongue ravioli and encasing mortadella and ricotta in the tortellini-like balanzoni. And it’s all laid out in display cases that outline the shop.
In addition to the standard range, there are three coloured doughs dyed naturally with beetroot, spinach or saffron, and two bechamel-y lasagnes – one with ragu and the other with creamed kale and roasted pumpkin. Plus, some vegan options including saffron-and-pumpkin ravioli (made with a semolina-based dough) and gluten-free gnocchi.
To accompany the pasta, find doughy slabs of house-made potato focaccia with roasted-garlic butter and, of course, sauce. Choose from traditional sugo, beef-and-pork ragu and a vegan oyster-mushroom variety, plus a few buttery finishing sauces. For dessert? Tiramisu.
The smart shopfront was designed to emulate the product – white walls represent the flour, yellow accents represent the eggs. And large windows give you a look into the “theatre room”, where all the pasta-making magic happens. There’s also a large courtyard beside the shop that’s set to open for dine-in this spring.
In the meantime, Pasta Poetry is developing an online store and home-delivery service (paired wine optional), which should be live by next month; for now, phone orders are available.
“Pasta Poetry is about bringing quality restaurant products into your home,” says Krambias. “We’ll do all the work; all you’ve gotta do is give us five minutes and it’s done.”
86 Station Street, Fairfield
(03) 9486 3484
Mon to Fri 10am–7pm