Easter Sunday Lunch With Massimo Mele And Mamma Maria

For Tasmanian born Italian chef, Massimo Mele - “every Sunday was like Christmas when I was a child”. Food was “memories” and “stories” which were celebrated as a family affair.  

A dish that appears on the table every Sunday in the Mele household is a traditional Italian ragu, served with handmade pasta. The beautiful thing about this dish is that Massimo uses tomatoes which were grown in his mother’s garden for his homemade passata, that forms the base of the sauce.

Gourmet isn’t just an ingredient; it’s about tasting the difference,” says Massimo. 

In Naples, the grandmothers would use knitting needles when making macaroni. Today, Massimo uses a wooden skewer to replicate this traditional technique in the home kitchen. “The idea is that there’s a hole that goes through the middle which soaks up the sauce and gives you a beautiful tasting dish” 

Here, Massimo shares his family recipe for Easter Sunday lunch Italian style, along with his top tips for making pasta at home. And if you want to know his Mamma Maria’s secret to perfect pasta… “cook with love!”

Massimo’s five tips for making pasta at home

1. Use good quality flour and eggs – that gives you that beautiful orangey colour when making the pasta dough

2. Always use ingredients that are in season

3. Add salt to boiling water and use ten parts water to one part salt

4. Cook pasta in a large pot to allow space for your pasta to move

5. You will know that your handmade pasta is ready when it rises to the surface. Your pasta should be slightly chewy and be uniform in colour

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