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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teach me how to cook!

In my 27th year, one of my bucket list items was taking a cooking class. I really enjoy cooking and baking and felt like this would be something I’d really enjoy. My lovely sister wanted to help me achieve this and got me a gift certificate to the Brooklyn Kitchen for my birthday. This weekend I finally got to use it!
I took their fresh homemade pasta class with Brendan McDermott. Alice tagged along as well. It was such a blast…and scrumptious too! Brooklyn Kitchen is the bomb and has so many awesome classes to offer. I am sad I don’t live there anymore. Otherwise, I would be there on a monthly basis taking classes like: DIY Taqueria Class, Homemade Ice Cream Class, Homemade Empanada Class, Hearty Vegetarian Entrees Class just to name a few! After cooking, we got to feast on all the lovely things we made amazing bread and red wine. One thing though: cooking classes = date activity. Aside from one other solo girl, it was just a slew of couples.

We got to make fettuccine, cheese ravioli, and gnocchi. The ravioli was definitely the best part. The filling was prepared before hand, but I got to learn all the ins and out of making them and can now go home and fill pasta with anything my heart desires!

Growing up we had a pasta machine, but I’m excited to now know how to do it all by hand. We used an old fashion hand cranking pasta machine, which my new apt. just happens to have! Can’t wait to use that!!
Here is the pasta dough recipe we used:

Ingredients:
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon EVOO
- a pinch of salt
 
Directions:
1.     On a flat surface, make a mound of flour and create a hole in the center.
2.     Crack the egg in the center and start slowly mixing with a fork. Slowly incorporate the flour in, a little at a time.
3.     When it starts looking like a pancake batter, add in the water, oil, and salt and continue mixing in my floor from the walls.
4.     When the walls are almost gone, I used my handy dandy plastic cutter to chop in the rest of the flour, folding over from each side.
5.     Once the flour is almost all combined in, drop the fork and start using your hands to knead the dough.
6.     Work it gently by folding the dough in half and pressing down on it away fro you, turn it 90 degrees and repeat; Do this until you have a smooth ball.
7.     Cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

If you’ve never had fresh pasta, you haven’t lived.  It is so much better then store bought stuff. Though I wouldn’t vow to never buy pre-made pasta again, I definitely want to make homemade more often. The teacher prepared a red sauce before the class and unfortunately poured it all over the linguini we made, so I didn’t get to appreciate the pasta in its pure form.

Here are the directions for making the pasta:
1.     Flatten ball with hand.
2.     Set pasta machine on largest setting.
3.     Feed dough in and crank away.
4.     Flour both sides and set the machine one setting down.
5.     Repeat this process to the desired thickness of your liking. I did 4 times.
6.     Feed your flatten dough then through the cutting setting and voila pasta.
7.     Since it is fresh it takes less than a minute to cook. You will know it is done when the pasta starts floating!

For the ravioli, here is the steps to makes these perfect little pillows:
1.     Follow #1-5 above.
2.     Fold your flat dough over and perforate a crease at the center.
3.     Place spoonfuls of filling roughly an inch apart
4.     With your finger, paint water around each filling pile to act as the glue.
5.     Carefully fold over dough covering each ball making sure to push out all air from each pocket.
6.     Cut to the desired size.
7.     Depending on the thickness these will take 2-3 minutes to cook and should start floating when ready!

Bon App├ętit!


Our teacher was awesome. To save time he had prepared some things beforehand, so I don't have the recipe to share for the awesome brown butter sage sauce we had on the ravioli's nor the gnocchi. But here's a look at these cute little dumplings.






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