Innisfail Pasta and Sugo Festa


July 23, 2023

11:00 am

- 5:00 pm






Johnstone Shire Hall, 70 Rankin Street, Innisfail



Tutti pazzi per la pasta!

Ciao amici! It’s time to celebrate Italian culture in Innisfail with our Inaugural Pasta and Sugo Festa.

We are “pazzi per la pasta” (crazy for pasta) and we know that many of our fellow Innisfailians have migrated from Italy, so we want to showcase your pasta-making skills!

This year, we welcome you on Sunday July 23 at the Innisfail Shire Hall for the first edition of the Pasta and Sugo competition Festa, a new and exciting event for the region filled with lots of laughters, and of course great food and company.

Proudly Spondored by:

Major Sponsor:

Band Sponsored by:

Puma Innisfail

Some of Australia best homemade pasta and sugo makers will be contesting to take out the prestigious awards on offer. And of course you can’t have a pasta and sugo day without a Spaghetti Eating Competition Challenge.

But there is more to this event than just the competitions. It is also a celebration of family, friends, tradition and of course, food. There will be a magnificent Italian antipasto, buffet lunch and Italian desserts to savour provided by our sponsors, and LIVE Italian music and entertainment by the fantastic duo Attori.

Antipasto sponsored by:

Buffet sponsored by:

Dessert sponsored by:

Italian Antipasto Platter
Authentic spaghetti with polpette
Speck and broccoli infused pasta
Mary’s beef ravioli with Bolognese sauce
Sundried tomato and leg ham beef tortellini
Spaghetti Napoletani
Spicey pasta with bacon, fresh onion and capsicum
Fresh baked assorted breads and butter portions
Italian style tossed salad
Italian green bean salad
Assorted Italian cakes slices


  • Adults: $85
  • Children (13 – 16 years): $55
  • Children (5 – 12 years): $35
  • Prices don’t include booking fees




When in Rome do as the Romans do!

Come join Attori and celebrate everything that makes Italy/Australia so special!

With comedy and songs such as La Donna, Funiculi Funicular, Volare, Mambo Italiano, Il Mondo and many more.

Attori take you on a memorable journey through a culture that is… Italy.

Attori have been performing and making people laugh all around Australia and Asia for over 14yrs.

From the corporate world to festivals, they have been entertaining and celebrating what it means to be Italian/Australian.

With powerful voices and stories to make you laugh and singalong!!

Let’s talk competition rules and prizes

Now, we know you may be thinking, “Ma che cos’è questa competizione di pasta?” (What is this pasta competition?) Well, let me tell you! We want to see who can create the most delicious and authentic Italian pasta dishes. And don’t worry if you’re not Italian, we welcome everyone to participate!

The first category is the best home-made pasta (Long, Short pasta or Gnocchi only) with the Napoletana sugo sauce provided by the Cairns Italian Festival Chefs. The second category is the best sugo (no seafood sauces allowed, sugo can be white or red), where the pasta will be provided by Barilla and the contestant can nominate their choice of pasta. And finally, the last category is the best home-made pasta (Long, Short pasta or Gnocchi) , and sugo combination (Sugo can be white or red) again the contestant can select their choice of preferred pasta.

Each contestant on the day must cook their own pasta and heat their own sugo – equipment will be supplied. Do not forget your dish must be Italian inspired. Get creative and show off your skills!

One other important mention- All dishes are to be premade prior to the event if you are entering the competition. We will provide equipment to heat up sauces and to boil water.

The prizes are as follows:

  • $500 for the best homemade pasta,
  • $500 for the best homemade sugo, and
  • $1000 for the best combination of homemade pasta and sugo.

So, what are you waiting for? “In bocca al lupo!” (Good luck!) and let’s get cooking.

Our judging panel will consist of 5 expert judges rating each entry from 1 to 5 on the following criteria’s.

  1. Flavor: The flavour of the pasta should be the most important aspect of the dish. Judges should consider the quality and balance of flavors, as well as the overall taste of the dish.
  2. Texture: The texture of the pasta is also a crucial factor in judging. Judges should look for pasta that is cooked al dente, with a firm texture and a slight bite.
  3. Presentation: The presentation of the dish is also important. Judges should consider the visual appeal of the dish, including the colors, arrangement, and garnishes.
  4. Creativity: Judges should consider the creativity and originality of the dish, including any unique ingredients or preparation methods.
  5. Authenticity: In an Italian pasta competition, judges may also consider the authenticity of the dish, including its adherence to traditional Italian pasta-making techniques and ingredients.
  6. 6. Overall impression: Finally, judges should consider the overall impression of the dish, including how well the dish is executed and how well it meets the competition’s criteria.

You can’t have a pasta and sugo day without a Spaghetti Eating Competition Challenge

When it comes to pasta, Italy is unrivalled beyond doubt. As the world’s biggest producers and consumers – approximately twenty-five kilos per person every year, unexpectedly followed by Tunisians – Italians are probably the only people happy to eat pasta more than once every day.

And you? How much pasta can you handle?

During the competition, each person will get a large bowl of spaghetti weight to be identical. Players must eat the spaghetti without silverware and with their hands behind their backs. The first person to eat all their spaghetti is the winner.
Make sure to enter the competition first prize is $500!!

Sponsored by:

Here are the 10 commandments, the undeniable truths, of cooking pasta like an Italian

With over 300 different shapes (formati) – from the most common ones such as spaghetti and rigatoni, to the oddly-named regional varieties of freshly made pasta – and a virtually endless number of possible combinations of ingredients to create both simple or elaborate sauces, there’s never a dull dish.

But what are the 10 commandments of cooking pasta like an Italian?

  1. Thou shalt not break the pasta, ever. I don’t care if it’s long, that just means you did not put enough water in the pot. If you hold up a packet of spaghetti and break it over the pot, that cracking sound you hear is the sound of 1,000 Italian grandmother’s hearts breaking. (Just kidding, you would probably get straight up smacked for being so ridiculous). Let me repeat: you do not break the pasta. The pasta is produced in that size for a reason, and all you need is a tall pot and a bit of practice swirling it around you fork.
  2. Thy serving size shall be 100g! 150g if we are being generous! This is a meal, not an eating contest. A pack of pasta is usually 500g, which means that it is sufficient for 4 to 5 people.
  3. The salt of the earth shall be added to the water only once said water has begun to boil. First, I suppose we should clarify that salt is non-negotiable. The seasoning will make or break your pasta from the very beginning. It will help the flavour as well as the texture. Give your pot of water a heathy pinch of sea salt. However, salt raises the boiling point of water, so let the water start to bubble before you add the salt, then give it a minute to dissolve before adding the pasta. OHH DID I NOT MENTION THAT YOU ONLY ADD THE PASTA WHEN THE WATER IS BOILING? That one matters, people. You do not have to keep the pasta at a rolling boil the whole time, but the water has to be ready if you want the pasta to turn out well.
  4. Thou shalt not add any oil to the water. None. I’m sorry, were you not listening to step 3? It is salting the water that keeps the pasta from gumming together. The oil is unnecessary and will coat the pasta when drained.
  5. The pasta shall be prepared al dente. Mushy pasta is just a no. However, cooking pasta al dente (“to the tooth” – so that you can bite it) is also better for you. Pasta that is al dente takes longer to digest, keeping you full longer. Overcooked pasta raises its GI index (which is bad news for your waistline and your heart).
  6. Thou shall use only the right shape for the right sauce. Do you know how many times I have been served angel hair pasta after 6 years in Rome? Zero. If a recipe calls for a specific shape of pasta – use it.
  7. You MUST conserve the pasta water. The starchy water is essential for helping to bind the sauce. Just before you drain the pasta, save about 1/4 of cup of the starchy water to add to the sauce. It will thicken the sauce and help it bind to the pasta.
  8. The sauce is not the main attraction. Speaking of sauce, it’s secondary. The sauce should coat the pasta, not drown it. The sauce is a condiment so use it sparingly.
  9. The bread shall soak the sauce. Only if you do end up with an abundance of sauce – go ahead – fare la scarpetta.
  10. You must use a fork and spoon, tradition is important.