The window display is full of multi-colour pasta strands spilling out like uncontrollable ribbons. The colour spectrum runs from chilli-red tagliolini to spinach-green fettucine. And, for the very first time I’ve walked past it, it’s actually open (a fact that says more about my anti-social weekend sleeping patterns than the shop’s hours).
Of course, I have to go in.
Inside, the Pasta Factory in Leichhardt looks a bit more utilitaritarian, clean-swept and to-the-point – it’s less colourful than the strands a-tangled in the window, but then I should remember this is a place to buy some fresh-made ravioli, not some bright-hued amusement park.
First off, I’m frozen by pasta-buying indecision (because, the temptation is to buy everything and spend the rest of winter over a boiling pan, tipping in flavour-stuffed flour parcels until they dive up and bubble along the heat-bursting waves). Of course, my arms can only hold so many carb variations (and my wallet can only support a fraction of this ravioli-hibernation fantasy).
In the end, I snap up the Chicken and Basil Ravioli and Pumpkin and Walnut Ravioli ($15 for two). The poultry pick is a gift, so I can’t report on it, but I did try out the pumpkin tonight, adding a very simple sauce of chopped-up cherry tomato, diced garlic and generous plops of olive oil. It was a lovely late-night dish, doubling as tomorrow’s lunch leftovers (I don’t know how it will survive the vicious office microwave taste-blanderiser, but we’ll see). The pureed pumpkin was nicely sweet, well-paired with the odd crunchy fleck of walnut. I find often when you buy ravioli, the doughy parcel can overwhelm any flavour tucked inside, but the pumpkin really fights through. And $7.50 for 500g is pretty good – it’s a similar price to buy some of that tough-bullet supermarket stuff, but this is a far nicer alternative.
So, now I just have to make sure I synch my waking hours with the Pasta Factory’s opening times, so I can make a repeat visit.
The Pasta Factory, 413 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt NSW, (02) 9569 2166