Monday night a couple of friends and I attended the pasta-making class at Catering Works. It exceeded my expectations in every way! When we arrived we were shown to the kitchen where they had set up wine and appetizers. The kitchen was huge and full of all sorts of tools and large, restaurant equipment. Once everyone was in attendance we began learning about the techniques and tools we would be using. The instructor gave just enough direction; she wasn’t intrusive but was there when you needed her.
The first pasta we made was the Farfalle since the dough has to rest for 30 minutes before shaping. In my opinion, this was the most time-consuming and while delicious, didn’t compare to the other two dishes we made. Since the three pasta making machines were spoken for before we knew what was going on (I blame it on the wine…), we got stuck with the rolling pin. At first I was disappointed, because the whole point of the class was to use the pasta maker machine, right?! But what we learned, which turns out to be a reoccurring lesson when making pasta, is that old school is good and sometimes even better! We were finished before the other three groups, and our pasta was really “rustic” and pretty.
Next was the potato gnocchi. I love gnocchi so I was most excited about this dish. The instructor had made a Basil Cream Sauce (recipe at the end of this post), that I couldn’t wait to try and I knew it would pair perfectly. We grabbed a couple of potatoes and got to work. Shaping the potato dough took a while, but it was totally worth it. Unlike the Farfalle, I would make this recipe at home.
The last dish we made was Ricotta Ravioli. The first group called dibs on the form pan. We got the vintage stamper, and once again, we learned that the most simple, straight forward way is the best. The other group’s pasta got stuck in the pan! They basically had to start all over…meanwhile we were on a roll. While cooking our ravioli, the instructor complimented our efforts and said we had the best looking raviolis in the class! Way to go team “JER!” (We even made it on to the Catering Works the facebook page!)
If you’re looking for a cooking class, I can’t recommend Catering Works enough. The class size was perfect, the instructors were great and it wasoverall just a really fun night. Check out their schedule here. She mentioned they are planning to do a grilling class in June…I’m thinking double-date night! 🙂
Basil Cream Sauce
- 1 shallot
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 4 Tbs pesto
- 2 Tbs fresh basil
- 1/3 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Saute 1 shallot in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft and translucent.
2. Add in 1 quart of heavy cream and reduce over medium low heat by half.
3. Stir in 3 – 4 tablespoons of prepared pesto, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil and 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.