Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pasta Masta Part#1

Oopsies, you'll have to excuse lack of updates. I'm in that 'batshit crazy' part of the semester and blogging time is veeery limited.  Last weekend I took a Pasta 101 class at Jo Seagar's.  As I got up at 6 to get an assignment finished, please try to ignore the 'baggy under the eyes' look that I'm rocking so well.

Dog tired or not, the class was well worth it.  This is Jo. I found her to be an incredibly warm person, and surprisingly well informed on aspects of research science.   Before devoting herself to cooking and writing, she was a nurse and involved in the British Regional Heart Study. Between that, and a shared enthusiasm for all things 'Italy', we had a lot to talk about.

The course was about making pasta from scratch.  I don't eat pasta often, but when I do, it had better be face-explodingly amazing. This method delivers the goods: pasta that takes you right back to backpacking in Tuscany.

The secret is ratio of eggs to flour (half high grade / high gluten wheat flour, half semola). For good pasta consistency, you actually want gluten. Of course this won't stop me trying to reproduce it with a gluten free flour.  Buckwheat might work.

Mixy mixy... a wooden board is the authentic thing to use (according to 'Mama' - the heroine of Jo's Italian cook book).

Rolling and cutting the pasta. I actually have one of these machines, and now know what to do with it. In the background, Miranda is using the KitchenAid Artisan mixer, which did the same thing, only five times faster.
"I am so Italian right now"

The parparadelle is done. We are ready to tackle the ravioli.

The filling was spinach and cheese based. Very tasty.

Gnocchi.  Ingredients: potato, flour, salt. Very simple. Apparently it also works with kumara and/or pumpkin, and I'm keen to give that a bash.

The class gnocchi effort, ready for cooking.  Some people got fancy with the fork decoration and some just made 'pillows'. We were encouraged to just go with our feelings on that one.

Obviously, those that read regularly will have picked up that there are so far, many things about this class that clash somewhat with the way I usually eat.  Nightshades, for example, are usually completely absent from my anti-arthritis diet, as is gluten.

But, the thing is.. when you are healthy, it truly does not matter if now and then you decide to biff the rules.  The healthy human body should be robust enough to deal with it.  This food was quality, it was fresh, it was made and eaten in a fun, social atmosphere, and it only did me good.

The next step was sauces and the all important eating phase. Click Here to drool over part 2.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Steve and Bex made their own pasta and they did a really good job!
    I'm too lazy, though I do remember making me own once upon a time!

    1. The funny thing is, it only takes about 20 minutes to actually make it. Then you have to rest it for maybe an hour. So.. not much longer than going to the shop to buy some. Well, you must have the ingredients of course...

  2. Replies
    1. I KNOW. The class was a present from my mum (xmas present). It was really so much fun.

  3. Hionora11:18 am

    I recall my cousin coming to visit NZ with heaps of pasta machines to give to his nearest and dearest, he was so impressed. My sister makes her own from time to time. How does this tie in with Gluten-free and the paleo slant?

    1. Well, sometimes... you just have to do it. :D haha.

    2. Honora7:14 pm

      Well when you've masterminded the gnocchi recipe with buckwheat flour and kumara, let me know!

  4. I totally agree, if your healthy then the odd 'bad' thing will do you no harm.


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