“Pasta the noodles, please!”
Homemade tomato sauce, locally grown herbs, hearty ground beef and warm, fresh bread…. In case you haven’t caught on, that’s two-thirds of the ingredients that’ll have you on your way to a scrumptious pasta dinner! And those luscious noodles that are essentially the crowd-pleaser of this dish? Big Lake Pasta now has you covered!
Andrew Murchinson and his wife began Big Lake Pasta as an opportunity to compliment the great existing local food finds they enjoyed at the local market. It also gave them the excuse to dwell on the love of their hometown, Thunder Bay, hence the name “Big Lake” Pasta. “When forming the actual company, we wanted something that would embody our proximity to the lake as it’s one of the things we really missed when we lived in Calgary for a while.”
Andrew and his wife were both raised in Thunder Bay. Growing up, Andrew recalls making various pasta dishes. “My father used to make a great chicken cacciatore for the family and that was one of the first dishes I can remember making.” During high school, Andrew even took part in a few cooking classes. Eventually Andrew and his wife moved out west to Calgary where they spent 10 years. But they continued frequent visits back to Thunder Bay, and took notice on the growing local food movement.
Thunder Bay has a way of drawing people back to its lakeshore, and a few years later, Andrew, his wife and son, found themselves back where they came from. Their interest in shopping local at the market grew, and they enjoyed all that it had to offer. However, they found themselves making their own pasta on a regular basis to compliment their market finds. “Over the course of a year and a half, we had accumulated a number of vintage Italian machines that allowed for a great variety, and enjoyed making fresh pasta for friends and family. We had made countless batches, some not as successful as others, but always learning more and more.”
Eventually they contacted the Thunder Bay Country Market, with hopes to partner in offering fresh pasta as an asset to the already great lineup of vendors and products. “We felt it would be a great compliment to the existing market offerings. We were thrilled when they agreed and so far response has been very positive!”
Andrew has been representing his fresh pasta in the market since July and takes pride in the assorted flavours and varieties he has to offer. He creates his pasta in smaller batches using the best ingredients possible. Through his vintage Italian equipment, the dough is extruded through bronze dies to give their shapes a rough texture. Possibilities are endless…well almost. “Going forward, we’ll continue to walk that line of traditional pasta making with a modern twist.” Because, like Andrew and the rest of our market vendors, we think there’s nothing quite like a homestyle pasta dinner made of fresh, local ingredients.