Yesterday, my Italian class got to go to culinary school and spend our 3 hours of class cooking up a storm! I’ve been waiting so patiently for this ALL semester. We made Tortelli di Patate, Tagliatelle al Pomodoro, and Schiacciata alla Fiorentina.
I was in charge of making the pasta and ravioli with some of my other classmates and it was really, really fun. I rushed over to that station because I knew I would love it 😀 All it really takes is flour and egg, as seen below with our chef!
We had to mix up the eggs and flour with our hands, which got extremely messy, of course. It seemed like it was never going to turn into dough but after what felt like forever of mixing, flour and egg everywhere, and sticky hands, we all got our mixtures into a dough. Then, we had to spend a good amount of time kneading it and rolling it on the countertop until it reached the perfect level of softness.
The next stop was rolling it out until it was thin enough to fit through the pasta machine so that we could flatten it out. Once we rolled it through a few times, increasing the crank strength each time, we had to fold it so that it was a rectangular shape.
In and out our strips of pasta dough went, until it got extremely long and felt like a giant blanket! It was hard to hold it at this point and we had to keep making sure we had enough flour on it so it wouldn’t break.
Finally, the fun part came – all we had to do was put our dough through a different part of the machine, crank it, and it came out as tagliatelle noodles!!! I’m not even sure why, but this made us all way too excited and satisfied…. the little pleasures in life, haha.
Over at the other stations, my other classmates were working hard and chopping meat and veggies, mashing potatoes, making a cake, and making the sauce. It smelled ridiculously good in there. Here’s a picture of the pancetta because I love all things bacon-y and was super excited that this would be inside our RAVIOLI! With potatoes. Um, yes please.
Next came the ravioli, which was equally as fun 😀 All we had to do was roll out more dough until it was thin, long, and rectangular, cut a slit in the corner, coat one side with an egg yolk mixture, drop on spoonfuls on the filling, press it in, and then cut it!
By this time, the cake was already baking, the sauces were simmering, and all we had to do was cook the pasta and ravioli and clean up. While we were waiting, we took giant whiffs of the sauce, which smelled DIVINE. I didn’t really know what to be expecting of the other dishes because I had been in my own noodle-making bliss – all I knew was that everything smelled amazing, looked amazing, and that there was pancetta, mashed potatoes, meat, and cake involved. Which is basically all my favorite things.
We cleaned up the kitchen, set the table and all sat down for our feast while our chef did the final touches. I love my class!
I didn’t even know what kind of cake they made, but it looked absolutely amazing and was still steaming hot when we cut into it, so yeah… I was drooling. Turns out, it was a delicious, really moist, orange cake. They had used orange juice and orange peels for it, which gave it the BEST subtle orange flavor. That flavor paired with the perfect combination of light and fluffy, yet moist, blew all of our minds.
The tagliatelle was also DELISH, as well as the raviolis! (unpictured). The raviolis tasted like Thanksgiving. They were perfectly al-dente (which I love), and the mashed potato filling had kind of melted and softened, and there were little hidden treasures of pancetta and herbs that would sneak up and delightfully appear. Ugh, so yummy.
I wish I could take a million more cooking classes but don’t worry family and friends, I can promise I’ll be obsessed with recreating all my Italian meals when I get home! Be prepared!!