Monday, April 11, 2011

Hand-Made Pasta Lesson

Despite trying many (too many) recipes and methods, I have never been able to make good fresh pasta. So I decided to take a course to get a base method and a feel for what the dough should be like at various stages of the preparation. The course that seemed best suited to my needs is the one given by Gerri Sarnataro at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE), on West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

After more than two years of trying to get into this popular course, I finally did it this weekend. It was fun and rewarding.

There were 14 of us in this hands-on course. We all made pasta dough under Gerri's careful supervision and then broke up into smaller groups to make two pasta dishes each. We then rolled our pastas and cut them according to the recipes our respective groups were making. My group made papardelle with a rich duck sauce and fettucine with peas and ham. Others were responsible for butternut squash ravioli with sage butter sauce; fettucine with onion confit; ricotta ravioli with pesto sauce; tortellini filled with sausage and ground veal and turkey; and fettucine bolognese. These were tried and true recipes and all were really good and authentic.

I love taking cooking lessons and generally find them both enjoyable and helpful. Gerri's course was one of the best.

Bobby Jay

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