Pasta 101

There are few things in our lives that are sure to brighten our days quite like great friendships and good food.

Not only does cooking feed your soul, but it’s a great way to spend time with friends. In last week’s Pasta 101recreational cooking class, two ICEPastry & Baking Arts alumni did just that. Ashley Davis and Jennifer Mirabella both followed their dreams and enrolled at ICE last year with plans to take on the world of pastry. Little did they know, they would meet and make lasting relationships at the same time. Living in different states makes it hard to for the two to hang out so the class was a perfect way to get together and build on their culinary skills. Friendships aside, the class was great for individuals as well. Who wouldn’t love creating pasta by hand? With three simple ingredients (flour, salt, and egg) and two willing hands, you too could prepare pasta from scratch. Here is how:

1. Measure 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour and place on a clean workspace. Create a well in the middle of your pile of flour by moving your hands in a circular motion until you can see the work surface.

2. Add a pinch of salt in the well then break 3 eggs into the well and beat with a fork.

3. Carefully, blend the flour into the eggs a little at a time, without creating a hole for the egg to escape.

4. Continue working in flour until the eggs absorb enough flour necessary to gather the dough into a ball. (You may not need all the flour.)

5. Knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour if the dough gets sticky. The dough should be firm but not hard to touch.

6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Let rest about 20 minutes before rolling and cutting.

Personally, I’ve been dying to try making pasta by hand for months, but never found the time to do so. The possibilities of what noodles to make are endless. For those of you without pasta-cutting machines, pappardelle is an effortless option. The class was incredibly helpful in learning the techniques to get the right shape and consistency of noodles. Plus, we learned how to make amazing sauces to top off the fruits of our labor and left with full stomachs!

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