I have moved to a new chapter of BNI (Business Network International). My timing for joining BNI Legends was spot on, as in my first week as a member we were invited to one of the chapter’s social occasions – a pasta making lesson with our Italian member, Roberto of Roberto’s Kitchen.
We were so fortunate to have the class in one of Wintec Hospitality School’s lecture theatres where there was the technology to show us on the big screen what Roberto was doing on the bench top. This was particularly useful when watching Roberto’s technique for blending egg into the flour and for stretching the dough to make it silky and smooth. (Roberto adds virtually no water to his pasta, so it is made from high quality ingredients – just egg and flour.)
Roberto let us into all his trade secrets – the proportions of the ingredients for gnocchi (which is traditionally eaten on Thursdays and Sundays, we discovered) and for the pasta mixture for ravioli, spaghetti and so on.
Making fine pasta is certainly labour intensive. The results were worth the time and the craftsmanship. It was fascinating to see how such a small quantity of flour and egg could stretch into a fine, even, elastic sheet. I guess to make pasta as perfect as that takes years of experience. I have never eaten commercially produced pasta (even the so-called “fresh” pasta) which had the silky, smooth texture of Roberto’s pasta. The luscious flavour and texture of the fresh pasta was comparable to the difference between eating fish that has just come out of the sea and frozen fish fingers.
As if we weren’t already salivating, Roberto then had us abandoning all dietary resolutions by showing us how to make tiramisu. Roberto is generous with the marscapone mixture in his tiramisu, which sets his version apart from commercially produced tiramisu.
I’m not going to impart the easily remembered proportions for Roberto’s pasta because our role in a BNI group is to encourage our networks to engage the services of other members. There is no obligation to give referrals, so you can be sure that when I give a referral it’s because I am proud to stake my own reputation on the quality of the other person’s work. Please visit Roberto’s website and order fresh pasta, sauces and tiramisu from him online. Alternatively, it’s fun to visit Hamilton Farmers Market on a Sunday morning and buy your supplies directly from Roberto at his stall.
Many thanks to Geoff Green of Greenland Valuers for providing me with the photo of Roberto with his pasta dishes – lasagne, gnocchi in tomato sauce (my favourite) and other treats. I can promise you, Robertos’ fellow BNIers made short work of these dishes of traditional Italian fare!