Ruby wore Calendula

by | Nov 1, 2016 | Garden meals, In the kitchen

Last summer I made rose petal tagliatelle. Rouge coloured dough sweetened by the natural sugars in the petals.

For the Swiss Italian Festival I had decided to make rose petal tagliatelle for a singing and dancing event I had organised.

Last spring was hot and fierce and many flowers had begun to bloom, so I took a chance with the weather, perhaps by late October there would be rose petals for me to harvest.

This spring is cold, windy, full of wet, aqueous, sodden, teary weather. Calendulas however are in full bloom; full of tangerine, cantaloupe and carroty tincture.

Ruby had asked if she could come and make pasta with me one day.

I said let’s wait until I have my island bench then we can make it in comfort.

Let’s wait until I have done some more tree planting then we can do it with ease.

Let’s pause until the moons align, until the sun is bright, until the pobblebonks call, let’s wait…

Let’s rest until the triglochin flowers, the paths are dry, my heart is full…but then the Swiss Italian Festival date and my dancing and singing tagliatelle night was approaching. And I needed to make pasta enough for fifteen.

Ruby wore calendula the day we made pasta. With a bow in her hair and full of zing and zest. I wondered how much I would need to teach her, if hours might pass with me showing Ruby the ropes: how to feed the dough into the machine, how to guide it through without a tare.

Within minutes she was doing laps, swimming deep and fast and vigorous. Guiding the silky dough through with accuracy and confidence; introducing innovative techniques for ensuring the pasta would not spread  too wide.

Within hours and with Alison there to help us both, Ruby made two and half kilos of calendula petal tagliatelle.

And I laden with satisfaction and admiration, relaxed and at ease…began to wash the dishes.


Silky dough.


Tearing a piece to feed through the pasta machine.


Flattening to start on the number 1 setting.


The widest roller.


The calendula petal colour coming through.



Dressed for the occasion.

Cutting the end to get a crisp line.

Cutting the end to get a crisp line.


Laughter like passion, adds intoxicating flavour to the tagliatelle.


Ready for drying on the table.


Our table is made to sit ten, sometimes it looks so big I feel like I am on an episode of Downton Abbey, other times it feels perfect.


Like a dance.

Alison with tagliatelle.

Alison with tagliatelle.

Full heart.

Full heart.


  1. Ruth

    Lovely words and beautiful photos. The recipients of this homemade pasta would surely be thrilled!

    • Mara

      we had a very lovely night Ruth, thank you hoping you are very well, mara


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