Charlie & Co. participated as guests. 
Sunday 19th May

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content and what better than a pasta cooking class, learning how to make traditional fresh pasta from scratch! I've always had 'make pasta' on my extensive to do one day list. At the new White Truffle Italian Cooking School, in Abbortsford. 

Headed by Adriano, an Italian chef from Puglia, a small town in the southeast of Italy, he also bakes! *note we need to do the baking class* Fabrizio from Rome who discovered his passion early on and has done demonstrations in America, and worked in some amazing restaurants in The Eternal City. They're both chefs during the week, and ran classes in Italy.

Today they're running their very first class in Melbourne upstairs around a few corners from The Convent at a culinary school kitchen. We'll be "creat[ing] different shapes of pasta such as tagliatelle (using a pasta machine and hand-cut), farfalle and ravioli".

On arrival we had non-alcoholic drinks (it was just 11am on Sunday, right after church, wine comes later) and these pretty healthy but tasty rolls. With tomato, cheese and basil, and ricotta.

Then we headed upstairs to the kitchen set for eight, where Chef Adriano demonstrated how to make pasta from just four ingredients! - plain flour, semolina flour, eggs, salt -  It was magical... and quite a workout! Nina doesn't agree, possessing a swimmer's upper body strength XD she was also the first to finish in the class.

Next we let the dough rest in the fridge and reduced some spinach, for the ravioli. 
Added ricotta, mix very well. Before popping it into a pipping bag.

On the side we also prepared confit tomatoes.

Once the dough was ready we were ready to roll it through the magical pasta machine! This is the best part. The machine has around 6 dials for thickness, so you roll is through each time turning it down a notch till you get your desired thickness.

Tip - As it comes out have in laid out flat otherwise it gets stuck together! 

The Tagiliatelle - This one is cut by an attachment to the pasta machine, but we also had a go at hand cutting it, by folding the flat sheet a few times (dust with flour first) then slicing it.

Work in Progress

 The Bowtie - One of my favourite shapes!

Varying still levels were demonstrated, but the good news is that they will taste all the same.

Ravioli - Two sheets, pipe on the filling, it'll look like ice cube trays when pressed. Use the wheel thing to make the zig zag edges. Do dust the bench first so they don't stick.

How good does this look? They're ready to go into the pot.

All three pastas we made! Do look up #whitetruffleschool to see some videos.

Lastly we boil it all, before mixing in tagliatelle the delicious bolognese ragu sauce prepared earlier (lots of simmering, takes about 3hrs) and other flavourings for the other dishes. Watching the pros do it.

Tagliatelle with Bolognese Ragu

Seated with a glass of wine we were ready to dine! I love that there was soda and juice too, not many places have that many non alcoholic offers, though I would have liked to have seen Italian sodas too.

Farfalle with rocket pesto, confit tomatoes, lemon

Spinach and ricotta ravioli with brown butter and sage

There was also dessert! Because desserts are always better than salads :P

It was a 4hr class with plenty of time, well paced, no rushing, and being well planned everyone had a go at almost everything, there was a mix of demos, and division too. There was 8 in the class, which seems to be the max limit as it's a workspace per person. The pace was great, the chefs were most definitely kind, patient (required when I'm in the kitchen - twice as messy and slow, like letting a child help a friend said XD) and caring. They were very friendly, not to mention very easy on the eyes, and worked well with varying skill levels in the class, from those who cook (Nina), and cook well to those who only dabble (me).

We made:

  • Tagliatelle 
  • Farfalle with rocket pesto, confit tomatoes, lemon
  • Spinach and ricotta ravioli 

To take home we got to keep the aprons, the recipes which is well laid out and easy to read, and some pasta we made (we ate the rest). I like that we didn't have to take notes on tips & tricks while participating, so we could concentrate on it being all hands on. 

We had a great time, and can't wait to make pasta at home! Such a great class that's always been on our to do list. Highly recommended, tickets are $140 and well worth it. As everyone gets involved and it's very well planned. We've done quite a few classes over the years, and this is definitely one of the best.

Nina's Review - Under the watchful expert eyes of both Adriano and Fabrizio, our chefs, we were guided through the wonderfully meditative and satisfying process of creating pasta from scratch, with only 3 ingredients and a little bit of amore!

And so we mixed, we kneaded, we chopped, we diced, we rolled and together with a trusty pasta machine, we successfully and gratifyingly cooked three different types of pasta; tagliatelle, farfalle and ricotta and spinach ravioli. These combined with a secret grandmother's recipe of beef ragu, a vibrantly green rocket pesto and a flavourful combination of brown butter and sage made for a beautiful luncheon to complete the class.

And finished with a surprise dessert of carrot and almond cake, Italian style of course, we couldn't have wanted anything more except for some leftover pasta to take home!

White Truffle Italian Cooking School also offers classes on everything Italian from pizza to risottos, regional lunches and desserts. We definitely will be back for the pastries class and desserts!

16/6 Update - There's currently an early bird discount, 25% off, $105 tickets for the next pasta masterclass on the Sunday 28th July. - Click here to book today.

Have you ever made pasta before? What's your favourite Italian dish?

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