Months ago I purchased a Cooking Fools pasta making class with one of my friends through Groupon. I have made my own pasta before, but I have never actually taken a class on how to do it. I usually just look at a recipe and go with it, so I was excited to maybe learn an actual technique. It was almost a year ago when I made Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade egg noodles (my favorite!). I want to say that I can’t believe this year flew by so quickly, but unfortunately 2010 was a long, drawn out, hectic year, and I am so glad it’s over and 2011 is here. I’m not saying 2010 was a bad year, but I don’t think I have ever experienced a year like 2010 in my life. There was a massive amount of changes and big events that 2010 left me feeling drained, exhausted and excited for some calm.
Anyway, back to the pasta making class! I was running late due to work and got there just in time. Maegan had purchased a bottle of wine for us (which was much-needed that night) and we started making our pasta! The class consisted of making ravioli and pappardelle. There was also a demonstration on how to make Vodka Sauce and Basil Pesto. I had never used the pasta machine before and my first attempt at pressing the dough was not necessarily successful. My strip of dough turned out uneven, thin, and I ended up wasting a lot of it. For some reason I thought using the rolling-pin (like I had before) was easier.
Yield: 10 oz, approximately 2 large servings
3 oz Semolina flour
3 oz all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Mound flour on work surface. Build well in center of flour and crack eggs into well Use a fork to combine egg whites and yolks.Slowly, using a fork, begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, be sure to build up the sides the well. When the majority of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together and you can begin kneading using your hands.Dust you hands with flour before touching dough. Use a light touch to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. Fold dough repeatedly until flour is incorporated, then knead for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Ravioli & Pappardelle
I wish I could tell you how the pasta actually turned out, but they had everyone combine their dough and made a large batch of both meals. Anything mass-produced can be difficult, so I wasn’t that impressed with the end result, but it was a fun night and I enjoyed getting to spend time/catch-up/drink wine with Maegan!
A few things I DID learn…
- The more you knead the dough the more the gluten comes out. You want your dough to have more gluten because it provides the necessary consistency for the pasta. When you are making dough for pastries or muffins, it’s the opposite. You don’t want too much gluten.
- Making pasta with wine is extremely necessary.
- Take out a small amount of the flour and put it off to the side. Add it in as necessary. The moisture and temperature in the room can affect the dough and you don’t want it to end up too dry.
- Wish I remembered more, but we did finish the bottle of wine 🙂
Enjoying some Cooking Fools Food!
All in all I am glad I took the pasta class. It made me want to learn more about cooking and the technique. Yes, I can take a recipe and make it or find a dish I want to make and figure out the ingredients and make it on whim, but there is something about the science behind cooking that I find intriguing and I want to learn more. So hopefully there are more cooking lessons in my future!