Our best neighbour’s moved. Far away. Now we actually have to make appointments to see each other! Today was one such get together; we decided that it would be really a lot of fun to do a cookery class together at Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School. It really was a lot of fun!
We booked the tickets months ago and in the run-up to today I’ve tried to make quite a few pasta dishes from scratch this week… (Links to my first gnocchi attempt and throw-together lasagna will follow in the coming weeks, promise!) It is much harder and more time-consuming than it looks, let me tell you!
Before we went I just had to paint my nails with an Italian theme (post to follow on Wednesday) to reflect my excitement for the evening’s shenanigans.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Dimo (our chef teacher for the evening) and offered a glass of Prosecco.
We were each given a very snazzy apron to wear for the occasion before we washed our hands and gathered around the work bench for our first demonstration. Dimo showed us exactly how to make the perfect pasta dough, before passing it around so we could feel what the consistency should be like when the time come for us to make our own.
Everything was already laid out neatly. The ingredients have been measured out and the utensils ready to rock and roll.
As I’m stretching and kneading my dough, I got way too excited and completely knocked over my (full minus one sip) glass of Prosecco! Glass splattered everywhere (sorry Jamie!) and the poor staff scrambled to clear up my mess. I felt like a right idiot.
Once the dough was kneaded and resting, Dimo showed us how to make ravioli, tortellini and farfalle (yes, the bow ties!) with a pea, broad bean and ricotta filling. So easy, yet very difficult as the dough dried very quickly. I don’t think I would ever be able to work in a professional kitchen as I was one of the last people to actually finish my shapes.
Once our pasta was filled and shaped and sealed we joined Dimo once more to show us how to actually cook the pasta and finish it off to turn an ordinary peasant’s dish into a bowl fit for a queen. The rich butter glided over the smooth pasta pillows until it was enrobed in a delicious silky sheen. The sage and black pepper subtly gave the pasta a gorgeously gourmet flavour without making it taste soapy (as sage tend to do).
Once we plated up, we queued for our share in a grating of 36-month aged Grana Padano and balsamic dressed rocket salad. Time to tuck in. The sauce was silky. The pasta was smooth. The whole dish was richly delicious. Just a shame there wasn’t a second helping!