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.
Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini
For the pasta (makes more dough than needed for this recipe)
For the hazelnut pesto
- 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.
Mushroom Ravioli Filling
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 400gChestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2shallots finely chopped
- 1clove garlic
- 1sprig thyme
- 1heaped tbsp ricotta
- 2tbsp parmesan freshly grated
- salt and pepperto season
- Heat a 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-sized pan, once hot add the finely chopped shallots and saute until soft and translucent.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and cook down until reduced in size and softened. Add the garlic and thyme and a good pinch of salt and pepper, fry for 1-2 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooled mushroom mixture to a food processor with parmesan and ricotta. Blitz until like a coarse pate.
Ingredients – serves 4
- 2 large eggs
- 200g of 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
Place 180g of the 00 flour onto a large wooden board. Pour the remaining 20g of flour into a small bowl, ready to use if necessary
Shape the flour into a volcano with a large hole in the centre, then crack the eggs and pour them into the middle
Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the flour a little at time. It is essential that the flour is gradually beaten into the eggs to ensure the walls of the volcano don’t break too soon. Add the reserved 20g of flour if the dough is too moist
Bring the mixture together with a spatula and your hands until you obtain a consistent ball of dough
Work the dough with the heel of your hand for 10–15 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and very elastic. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Dust a wooden board with 1 tbsp of flour. Unwrap the dough and flatten it with a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into thin pasta sheets, less than 1mm thick
If you have a pasta machine, divide the dough into 4 before rolling it out. Flatten it to a rough square so that it fits through the machine at its highest setting. Roll it through & fold it back over it to itself. Rotate it through 90 degrees and repeat this a few times. This releases the gluten which increases the elasticity of the dough and stops it cracking & tearing. Now reduce the thickness of the machine 1 click at a time until you reach the 2nd last setting. You can feed it through the cutting attachment.
To cut the pasta sheets into tagliatelle, roll the sheets up and cut into large ¾cm strips. Unravel the cut tagliatelle strips and twirl into little nests. Dust the nests liberally with flour to stop them from sticking
Cook the tagliatelle within a few hours in boiling salted water for 3–5 minutes before serving with your favourite sauce
Alternatively, freeze for up to 1 month. To freeze the pasta, layer the tagliatelle flat on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer bag or another suitable container
This famous pasta is unrecorded before the Second World War. There are any number of unsubstantiated tales of its origin, including that it was traditional sustenance for charcoal workers (carbone meaning ‘charcoal’), or that it was named after the Carbonari (‘charcoalmen’ — a secret society prominent in Italy’s unification). Whatever the origins, they were likely in Rome, which remains the spiritual home of this pasta today. A good carbonara is luscious, unctuous, piggy, and almost a heart attack on a plate. It is surely a good way to go…
Guanciale is pig’s cheek cured like pancetta or bacon. The result is a fatty, porcine treat, hard to find but worth seeking out. Good quality pancetta or bacon (dry cured) works almost as well.
- 200 g bucatini (linguine or spaghetti can be used)
- 100 g guanciale, sliced thickly (3 mm), then across into 2 cm-wide lardons
- 1 dessertspoon olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 80 g grated Pecorino Romano(or Parmesan, or mixture of the two), plus extra to serve
- plenty of freshly crushed black pepper
Put the pasta on to boil.
Fry the guanciale in the oil over a high heat until the fat has blistered and browned a little on the outside, but is still soft within. It will smoke profusely. Take the pan off the heat.
Beat the eggs with the cheese in a large bowl, seasoning profusely with black pepper. It is a good idea to warm this over the boiling water – not to cook, but just to take the chill off.
When cooked (but of course, al dente), drain the pasta and toss in the pan of guanciale until well coated in the fat. Transfer immediately to your bowl and stir well for about a minute until the eggs have partially thickened. Check for seasoning, and serve with extra cheese on top.
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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