20 October 2023

Riverina Made: Gabriele Rota creates fine artisanal pasta in the heart of the region

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Gabriele Rota

Gabriele Rota makes and sells authentic artisanal pasta. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Who are you and what is your business? My name is Gabriele Rota and my business is Pota Pasta.

Where did you begin? I began about three months ago because there isn’t good authentic dry pasta in Wagga and Australia; they are generally hard to find. So, I bought an extruder machine and a dehydrator and selected the best flour possible in Australia. I used flour from Tamworth and wanted to ensure that it was 100 per cent Australian-made. My pasta is bronze die, which gives this sort of roughness to the pasta. I dry it slowly at about 33 degrees for about 12 hours so it doesn’t create the Maillard reaction [a chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of heat between amino acids and reducing sugars].

What do you produce? I create authentic artisanal dry pasta. The shape we’re selling is caserecce, a short, twisted pasta.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Zoe Campbell started off making jewellery for her friends at university

What do you sell that makes a great gift? My dry pasta makes a great gift because it takes years to expire. It looks nice, and it’s easy to place in a hamper. I also have a few niche items in my pantry, which I get from selected suppliers in Melbourne. I’ve got salted caramel pecans and honey from Daintree Rainforest.

What would you make if you could do anything? If I could make anything, I would make very good Neopolitan pizza. I could eat that every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once I expand, I want to include it in my menu.

Pota Pasta currently sells caserecce, a short, twisted pasta.

Pota Pasta currently sells caserecce, a short, twisted pasta. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Where can we buy your products? You can buy them in the store located in the Homebase and at Junee Licorice Chocolate Factory. Charles uses my gnocchi, and The Oakroom uses my spaghetti.

How would you promote the Riverina? Riverina is getting a lot more food culture. Wagga Wagga City Council is doing a great job running events such as Fusion or the Winter Festival. Wagga is becoming more than just a country town and growing fast. It’s got an excellent hub to live, and it’s got a nice balance.

Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? I bought a wooden handmade tray from a man in Albury, which I believe was from a red gum tree.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: ‘Chocolate is the ultimate gift’: Neil Druce of Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory

Where’s your favourite place for a cuppa? For a cup of coffee, I would usually go to either Thorne Street or Larry’s.

Who is another local producer you admire? Neil from Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory. He has just created an empire. He told the story of how he started, and it’s just mind-blowing. When you talk to him, he is such a nice, kind and humble man. It’s nice to see someone that successful being grounded.

You can learn more about Pota Pasta here.

Region Riverina is committed to celebrating our local producers and creatives and encourages everyone to buy local.

If you’re aware of someone who’s making something amazing, let us know!

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