GRANNY Smith is stocking Sydney’s finest fresh pasta. Our first delivery arrived on 16 November and we’re delighted that what The Sydney Morning Herald’s Helen Greenwood wrote of Pasta Emilia some years ago holds true today: ‘No longer a local secret, owner Anna Maria Eoclidi’s marvellously silken flat pasta has a truly homemade Italian quality to it, as does her finely rolled tagliatelle, using organic flour and eggs.’
The stock at Granny Smith is led by Anna Maria’s fresh pasta — linguine, fettucine, rigatoni and strozzapreti — and superbly balanced sauces, including salsa verde and pesto e pomo. It can be found in the fridge. We’ll shortly add Pasta Emilia’s ravioli, including pumpkin, crab and prawn, duck, nettle and seasonal variations.
Anna Maria was born at Castell’Arquato, between Parma and Piacenza, in Emilia Romagna. As Helen Greenwood wrote: ‘Her grandfather was a farmer, producing the staples of the region: wine, wheat, tomatoes, cheese and milk. Eoclidi remembers spending time on her father’s farm or his small vineyard. In the mid 80s, she left Italy to study dance in London, where she met Australian Simon Venning, married him, and came to Australia in 1988. She cooked a lot and did some catering. But it was only when they took their children back to Italy to give them a taste of their heritage that she thought seriously about pasta. They opened a restaurant in Castell’Arquato and a friend began supplying her with the regional specialities: anolini (small, round sun-shapes filled with parmesan), tortelli (filled with nettles), and revioli (filled with pumpkin and mostarda – mustard fruits). Eoclidi decided she wanted to recreate this pasta when she returned to Australia.’
‘To authentically reproduce the flavours she knew as a child, she turned to organic produce. ‘For two reasons,’ she sad in her lilting, accented English: ‘Taste. Vegetables and ingredients seems to lose their flavour if they are not organic. And health’.’
Pasta Emilia is not yet a certified organic maker, but Simon says that Anna Maria and he hope to achieve that following the recent relocation of their kitchen from Bronte to Surry Hills. Anna Maria uses a La Parmigiana bronze disc pasta maker, designed in 1948, to make her pasta. She learned to make and roll dough by hand at the tables of her grandmother, aunts and mother, but demand for her products led to an investment in a machine. Yet there is serendipity at its heart: the bronze die were cast near where Anna Maria was born.