Pasta Class Introduction
Garibaldi relied on the power of pasta to unite Italy and Sophia Loren famously claimed she owed her voluptuous figure to spaghetti, chef Giorgio Locatelli reckons every Italian is two-thirds pasta.
We hope you have enjoyed your pasta making class and have learnt “a skill you will stay with you for life”, if you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Below are the recipes you learntduring the class, plus a couple more for you to try at home.
Deep purple-red beetroot transforms classic pasta into an eye-catching but simple main course. The root vegetable is boiled and puréed before it’s mixed into the dough.
The Beet Purée:
2 small beets (approximately 7 ounces), rinsed and trimmed
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rinsed and trimmed beets and cook until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 40-45 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel beets and purée with a hand-blender or food processor until smooth.
For the Dough:
- 284 Grams (10 ounces) Tipo ’00’ flour (Pasta Flour)
- 5 yolks from 5 large eggs
- 1 whole large egg
- 4 tablespoons beet purée (see note above)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for salting water
To Make the Dough:
On a large, clean work surface, pour flour in a mound. Make a well in the centre about 4 inches wide. Pour whole egg, egg yolks, beet purée, and salt into well and, using a fork, beat thoroughly. When combined, gradually incorporate flour into the eggs until a wet, sticky dough has formed.Once you’ve made your dough you need to knead and work it with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and al dente.There’s no secret to kneading. You just have to bash the dough about a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, pulling it, stretching it, squashing it again. Continue until dough develops a smooth, elastic texture like a firm ball of Play-Doh. If dough feels too wet, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments. If dough feels too dry, add water slowly using a spray bottle.Wrap ball of dough tightly in plastic wrap and rest on countertop for 30 minutes.
To Roll the Pasta:
If using a machine to roll your pasta, make sure it’s clamped firmly
Dust your work surface with some Tipo ‘00’ flour or semolina, take a lump of pasta. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting – and roll the lump of pasta dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks at all. Click the machine down a setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. It might seem like you’re getting nowhere, but in fact you’re working the dough, and once you’ve folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you’ll feel the difference. It’ll be smooth as silk and this means you’re making good pasta!
Now it’s time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the pasta with a little flour every time you run it through. When you’ve got down to the narrowest setting, to give yourself a tidy sheet of pasta, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half again once more until you’ve got a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a lovely rectangular silky sheet of dough with straight sides.
To Cut Tagliatelle:
Adjust pasta machine to noodle setting of your choice. Working one dough segment at a time, feed dough through the pasta-cutter. Alternatively, cut folded dough by hand with a chef’s knife to desired width. Divide the cut noodles into individual portions, dust lightly with flour, and curl into a nest. Place on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently cover with kitchen towel until ready to cook. Pasta can be frozen directly on the baking sheet, transferred to a zipper-lock freezer bag, and stored in the freezer for up to three weeks before cooking. Cook frozen pasta directly from the freezer.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stir gently with a wooden spoon, chopsticks, or a cooking fork, and cook, tasting at regular intervals until noodles are just set with a definite bite, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain, toss with sauce, and serve.
Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini
For the pasta (makes more dough than needed for this recipe)
- 70g spinach (blanched)
- 4 large free-range egg yolks
- 200g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
For the hazelnut pesto
- 25g whole blanched hazelnuts
- 15g Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
- 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the filling
- 150g ricotta
- 50g Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
- 1 lemon, zest only
- pinch grated nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- knob of butter, to serve
- Put the spinach and egg yolks in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour and whizz again to combine – the mixture will look like breadcrumbs at this stage. Tip out onto a lightly floured board and bring together using your hands. Knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky. Cover and rest in the fridge while you make the filling and pesto.
- For the pesto, spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown, then set aside to cool.
- For the filling, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag or a plastic food bag with the corner snipped off.
- To make the pesto, crush the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar, then gently stir in the Parmesan and oils.
- To assemble the tortellini, roll the pasta dough through all the sizes on the pasta machine starting with the widest setting and finishing on the smallest setting when the pasta is very thin. Using a 9cm/3½in round cutter, cut out 10 circles. (Any leftover dough can be frozen to use another time.)
- Pipe a heaped teaspoon amount of filling inside each pasta circle and fold in half to create a half moon shape. Wet the edges and press down to help them stick. Pull the two narrow ends together to form a tortellini shape.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2–3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, put a frying pan over a medium–high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook until lightly browned and starting to bubble. Then add the hazelnut pesto and gently heat through.
- Serve the tortellini with the pesto spooned over the top.
How to Make Ravioli
Ravioli are a filled pasta. They are great for making at home as they are relatively easy to shape, unlike their more fiddly counterpart tortellini, which take a bit more practice. The secret of perfect ravioli lies in making beautifully thin pasta, so take your time when rolling and handle with care.
Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough starting at the largest setting. Continue to pass the dough through the machine, lowering the setting each time until you have reached a number 1 thickness. If you have made a lot of dough, split it into more manageable portions to avoid breakages.
Once the pasta dough has been rolled out, cut into circles using a 7–8cm pastry cutter.
Make one ravioli at a time keeping the remaining pasta covered loosely with cling film or a damp tea towel. Lightly egg wash the edge of one of the circles. Take a heaped teaspoon of filling and place in the middle of the circle.
Lay a second pasta disc over the top and gently mould the pasta around the filling, making sure to remove all excess air that may be trapped to prevent the pasta breaking during cooking.
Gently press around the edges to seal and repeat this process until all the filling has been used up.
Place the ravioli on a lightly floured tray in the fridge for 30 minutes or until needed. If desired, you can crimp the edges of the ravioli with a fork or use zig-zag pasta cutters for a more decorative effect.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add a glug of olive oil and carefully lower in the ravioli. If the filling is pre-cooked, they will need around 3 minutes. If using raw filling, cook for a few minutes longer.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 sweet potato medium
- 1.5 cups of flour (‘00’ or plain)
- 15g of grated parmesan
Bake the sweet potato on 180C for roughly 45 minutes or until soft.
Let it cool down, peel and discard the skin.
Mix all the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, start forming a dough. You might need more flour as every potato is different.
Work the dough on floured surface with your hand, adding more flour if too sticky.
Form a dough ball, wrap it in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Form gnocchi shaped little dumplings.
Get a pan of salted boiling water ready and boil the gnocchi for approximately 2 minutes until they start floating on top.
Strain and cool down.
Finally, we can either pan-fry our gnocchi or just drop them directly into hot pasta sauce to warm up.
Caprese panzanella salad
Ingredients – Serves 2
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 5x basil leaf, chopped
- 1x bulb of buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, finely sliced
- Handful of ciabatta bread, diced
- 1tbsp of butter
- 1tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1tsp of English mustard
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl a keep on side.
Pan-fry the bread in butter until golden brown and crispy, season well.
In a smaller bowl, mix mustard and vinegar, start whisking and gradually adding the oil until well incorporated.
Toss the bread through our salad very last minute and pour over the dressing.
Butternut squash and white wine sauce
Ingredients – Serves 2
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed
- 200ml white wine
- 400ml double cream
- Handful of chopped chives
- 1tbsp of olive oil
- 2 sage leaves
Heat up a medium size sauce pan with oil. Sweat of the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add the squash and seasoning, sauté until golden brown.
Pour in the white wine and reduce by half to cook of the alcohol and prevent bitterness.
Add the double cream and cook on low heat until the squash is soft and blend the sauce until smooth.
Finish with chopped sage.
Lemon fluid gel
- 2 lemons, juice and zest
- 100g of caster sugar
- 100g of white wine
- 200g of water
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 10g of agar per litre of liquid
Combine all of the ingredients (except the vegetable gel) in a pan. Bring to a boil, reduce by approximately half, then season with salt. Taste the liquid and add more sugar or lemon if needed to balance the flavour.
Measure out the liquid and add 8g agar per 1 litre of liquid. Bring to the boil, then cool and allow to set in the pan. Once cool, blitz in a food processor to create a smooth purée and store in a squeeze bottle.
We hope you enjoyed the class!
We really hope you enjoyed your class at Food Sorcery. If you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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