The Magic of Pasta

As featured in Kingston Heritage and Frontenac Gazette

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My favorite memories often include (my family) and pasta. The perfect mound of flour as I make a well, add the eggs, salt, and olive oil—lightly beating them together, with the silky pasta dough in my hands.

Making pasta is about sharing and community. I envision Italian families cooking together at the pasta table; Nonna waving her dusty flour covered hands around, nattering about the old country. Despite not having an Italian lineage, it should be a time of family and friends, swapping stories, cooking techniques, and laughing with each other. Food tastes better when there is a healthy dose of love in it.

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta,” said Frederico Fellini. Dining in or out there is a real pleasure in a plateful of warm pasta, sauce, and a table of good company. Pasta in all its forms spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, fusilli, rotini, linguine, lasagna, and pappardelle blended with simple ingredients beautifully fills the belly and soul.

Is there a difference between dried pasta vs. fresh? Dried pasta is not old fresh pasta. Dried is made of little more than semolina flour, water, and salt and can be stored at room temperature for almost ever. Fresh pasta made of eggs is slightly more tender and takes less time to cook. The delicate texture is best with light sauces made with tomato, cream, oil or butter with herbs. One of the very reasons why I like freezing my summer garden herbs (a tip from my friend Lesli) is to add to fresh pastas in the winter.

When I am short on time, I purchase fresh pasta to make a quick dish from my favorite retail kitchen: Pasta Genova and Pasta Tavola.

For the past 27 years, Pasta Genova has served up fresh pasta, sauces, and pizza dough made on site. The small red, white and green building located at 234 Wellington Street, between Queen and Barrack Streets. It holds a special place in Kingstonians’ hearts with its helpful staff and variety of pasta, sauce, breads, deli meats, cheese, imported Italian favorites and premium olive oils.

Another favorite of mine is Pasta Tavola. You can purchase their homemade pastas and sauces in many specialty food retailers in Kingston such as John’s Deli, Pan Chancho, Tara Foods, Wendy’s Mobile Market, and Limestone Organic Creamery. Pasta Tavola is an artisanal ravioli and pasta company based in Belleville at 109 North Front St. They produce hot oven-ready meals, fresh pasta and sauces made from local ingredients. Pasta Tavola products contain no artificial fillers, additives, preservatives, or chemical seasonings.

Both pasta companies make small batches of handmade pastas and sauces. They also each offer cooking classes to teach you how to make pasta at home. You should sign up quick as classes fill up. Pasta Genova does not have a website, dropping by their Wellington St location is best to learn more about their classes. Pasta Tavola hosts classes in Belleville and Ottawa, check out their website for more information at www. Pastatavola.ca. If you want a quick, easy meal for friends and family drop in to pick up an oven ready meal or fresh pasta and sauces from either of these locations. You will not be disappointed!

Pasta Genova
234 Wellington St.
Kingston

Tuesday – Friday
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m – 5 p.m.

Pasta Tavola
109 North Front St.
Belleville

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

http://www.pastatavola.ca

 

If you have a restaurant suggestion or foodie biz suggestion, please contact me at ladydinesalot@gmail.com, follow my blog LadyDinesAlot.com or on Facebook & Twitter.