Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pasta workshop

As a pasta lover I have always wanted to be able to make my own, especially ravioli. So I signed up to a pasta making workshop at La Cucina Caldesi cookery school in London. The 3 hour course takes place in an outbuilding behind their restaurant:

We started off by learning how to make a selection of sauces to go with the pasta we were going to make: pesto, salsa de pomodoro, butter and sage, ragu... the chef gave very useful tips along the way.  Then we got stuck in to making pasta from scratch, we made ravioli (stuffed with spinach and ricotta), pappardelle, and lasagne sheets. We used corn-fed chicken eggs which give the pasta dough a golden colour. It is really very simple to do, the only tricky thing is getting the knack of feeding the dough through the pasta machine. 

Basic Pasta Fresca recipe - Makes enough to serve 4 as a main

200g '00' flour
2 eggs

(You need one egg for every 100g of flour)

1. Put the flour on a flat surface or in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs and gradually mix in using a fork, pulling in the flour from around the edges. Use your hands to bring the dough into a ball.
2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes. If it is too sticky add a little flour. It is ready when it springs back when pressed ('earlobe texture'!)
3. Take a 3rd of the dough and flatten it. Wrap the rest in cling film until needed. Feed the dough through the pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and finishing on the finest. Use up the rest of the dough in this way.

You can then use this dough to make all sorts of pasta. More recipes to follow once I have mastered the art of fresh pasta making!


  1. Very impressive! My grandmother made her own pasta and recently offered me her hand-crank machine. I can't picture myself hand-cranking anything, but I am considering the Kitchenaid mixer attachment.

  2. Hi Sarah! It was so nice to meet you at the workshop! I've been enjoying your blog... I especially think you've got a good eye when you take your food photos! Maybe you should consider being a food photographer... :o)

    Also, as it so happens, I found the feeding the dough into the machine part easy, but the getting the dough into a nice ball difficult! I had so many dry bits that wouldn't get stuck to the wet ball! Or the wet ball wasn't wet enough... I don't really know...

    Wenying :o)

  3. Mrs Stranded: Thanks, once you get the hang of it the hand cranking is not too bad actually and the results are much tastier than shop bought fresh pasta. I should think a Kitchenaid mixer attachment would give super results too!

    Wenying: Great to hear from you- I really enjoyed the workshop and can't wait to start making some ravioli etc.! Just need to wait for my pasta machine... should get it next week hopefully. Who knows, I may need to practise my food photography for a recipe book one day! Hope all goes well with your projects- keep in touch and let me know how any pasta adventures go!