I’m never going to be able to eat dried pasta again after our time in Italy. Fresh, home-made pasta, produced with love from the finest ingredients is a totally wonderful eating experience. The pasta is softer, slightly spongy, and soaks up the flavours of the sauce. It’s delicious and very more-ish. A kids cooking class in Italy gave my boys a chance to make pasta, from scratch, and serve it to the grown ups for lunch. It was sensational, they should be very proud indeed.
What’s more Italian than pasta? What better way to get to grips with Italy than cooking it’s most iconic dish?
Pasta Starts With The Finest Ingredients and Plenty of Muscle
Free range, organic, eggs direct from the chickens and OO pasta flour, that’s it, nothing else, mixed by hand ( 6 eggs to 600g of flour) . Once the dough holds together, start kneading and stretching, working the pasta until it becomes pliable and springy.
Once a finger indentation springs back up, it’s ready for the pasta machine.
You can buy a pasta machine here, I used to own one, back in the days of home ownership.
The children fed the dough through the roller, changing the setting each time to make huge sheets of golden yellow pasta. From here they cut rectangles for ravioli and fed the rest back through the machine for tagliatelli, dusting the strands with semolina flour to keep them separate.
They filled the ravioli and sealed the layers together with egg before cutting the individual shapes with a fancy roller cutter.
Was The Kids Cooking Class Fun?
You bet it was fun. My 10-year-old said it was the highlight of his trip and he was incredibly proud of what he made. He was the eldest, our youngest chef was just 3 years old, he looked pretty happy to work the dough, too.
We had a great teacher in Isobel and two lovely Italian speaking helpers, the Sylvias, all the ladies were great with the kids.
This cooking class would work just as well for adults, the finished result was professional, serious pasta, not kiddy at all. I like that, the kids were treated as capable and made the real deal not some kid-friendly dish.
The children learnt a skill and felt good about what they made, for my homeschooled boys, days like this are priceless. We’ll be looking for more kids cookery classes as we travel.
What Did The Kids Make?
The children produced the pasta, the sauces and ravioli fillings were done by the adult chefs. The finished dishes were incredibly delicious and served in succession over a long Italian lunch. They really know how to live in Italy.
We ate tagliatelle two ways, with meat ragu and with truffles and truffle oil. Two types of ravioli came next, one with spinach and ricotta, one with pumpkin and Amaretto. The pumpkin was divine and I have the recipe, I can share another time.
The dishes were beautifully finished with herbs from the farm, butter, cheeses and oils. The kids also knocked up some simple but delicious bruschetta with garlic, good olive oil, tomatoes and basil. The colours were just amazing.