Last week, I attended a cooking workshop to learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch.
The class was held in La medina Hotel in Maameltein. My sister and I arrived at 10 in the morning and met Chef Hanaa Issa who was supposed to tutor us during this 3-hour session. After a small introduction about Italian cuisine in general, we started the experience.
On the menu: how to make fresh raviolis stuffed with spinach and cheese, how to make fettuccine Alfredo and how to make chocolate mousse.
We started with the dessert, since it needed some time to cool in the fridge. We wanted it ready for lunch, of course!
The Chef used regular milk chocolate bars to show us that this dessert is convenient for unplanned occasions, when you don’t have the time to run to the grocery store.
Then was the part we’ve all been waiting for. Let the pasta making begin!
The chef prepared an easy spinach and cheese stuffing, using Double Cream cheese. Yeah, no ricotta or other fancy cheese!
She also added a boiled potato that she grated, and insisted on avoiding the food processor for such a preparation, since it ruined the different textures of the filling. And to spice the mixture up, she added a pinch of nutmeg!
Once the filling was ready, the fun part of our day was about to start!
Every attendee had a small bowl with eggs, fine semolina and flour. We kneaded the ingredients together until we got a ball of dough, then we flattened it using the pasta machine, numerous times on different levels, until it was really thin.
We piped the filling on the dough and, using cookie cutters, we shaped our raviolis into squares, flowers and circles.
For the remaining dough, direction pasta machine again, to form long strips of fettuccine.
Once cooked, the chef showed us how to prepare Chicken Alfredo sauce for the fettuccine. Alfredo sauce is a cream and parmesan cheese basic sauce that is usually served alongside different kinds of pastas, on or pizzas as well.
It was finally lunch time! We all gathered around one table and tried the Fettuccine Alfredo first. The pasta was really delicious. Can’t wait to get my pasta machine and try the recipe again!
As for the sauce, and since my sister and I are big fan of spices, we thought it was a bit mild so we added a lot of salt, pepper and cheese.
The raviolis were served in a pink sauce. The filling was amazing, and it was very pleasing to feel its different textures inside our mouths.
The overall experience was great, and we were told that many new cooking classes will be held soon. I am quite excited about them. Actually, I am a fan of workshops that teach you new techniques and not only how to prepare some dishes.
Grazie mille e a presto!
- The introduction was brief and interesting: bravo!
- Everything that we did during the class can be easily replicated in a normal kitchen.
- The chef only used small appliances that are usually at hand in a housewife kitchen.
- Even the pasta machine that we used was a small one, and it can fit in anyone’s kitchen.
- 30 $ is a very acceptable amount you can pay for a cooking class, making it among the most affordable ones offered in the country lately.
- The 17 slides should be printed on 3 A4 pages instead of 17 useless pages.
- I think that people who are willing to make pasta from scratch are not beginners. Alfredo sauce is for beginners.
- Whatever problem there might be, it can be postponed and dealt with later on. Attendees should not have to listen to fights happening in the kitchen (this happened more than once).