Ciao! Today, we make-a some-a past-a with Silvana from Tutti-a-Tavola. And I promise I won’t type in that poor Italian/English stereotypical phonetic hybrid any more. Promise.
Based in West London, Silvana runs pasta making classes every week, rotating the type of pasta each month to keep you on your toes. Interesting! She covers both the glutenny and gluten-free pastas from scratch: Tuesday and Saturday evenings for the glutenny amongst us and gluten-free on Sunday lunchtime. We opted for the gluten ‘standard’ pasta, and the flavour of the month was Tricolore Garganelli! Huzzayy! Colourful pasta fun!
When we arrived (a little damp, thanks to London weather) we were greeted by Silvana and most of our class had already arrived – a nicely sized group of five. After having a little time to settle down and relax, Silvana introduced the class, explained what we would be doing and gave some of her personal background as a 4th generation artisan pasta maker – she really knows her stuff. We received a history on how the garganelli pasta shape originated – for your fact files it was accidentally discovered in the 1700s by the cooking staff of the aristocracy in Italy, using up some left over pasta squares. Good old leftovers, hey!
The instruction for this class was brilliant, nice and informal with a hands on approach for each of us which was aided by the small class size. We had clear instructions on how to hand mix the ingredients for the dough .. there was a lot of kneading involved. For me, as someone who did this last in school and who is generally not familiar with getting hands on with food I found this to be a proper treat. Quite hard work but was therapeutic! It’d be great fun to do after a particularly testing day at work/after a difficult commute and take out a little bit of frustration on kneading some dough for 15-20 minutes.
After the kneading came the rolling, also very satisfying. We were shown the sort of thinness we needed to achieve with our pasta by holding it up to the light and checking which areas of the pasta sheet needed more work. Silvana took time out to ‘review’ each of our pasta sheets to ensure we were where we needed to be in preparation for cutting the sheet into squares. Mine was fine *phew* and this was a great relief to me as a school acquaintance had previously appeared on Come Dine With Me and his homemade pasta was a hot mess (click here to see what NOT to do..it’s incredible!
We were then taught how to cut and roll the pasta into tubes and it actually looked decent! I was still surprised because of the aforementioned pasta disaster and my lack of culinary or crafting skills….but I am really pleased to say due to the fabulous demonstration this turned out brilliantly. Little green, red and white tubes of pasta joy!
Everyone’s creations were placed together on trays ready for cooking and Silvana took time to educate us on how to properly cook pasta which was actually a revelation to me. I’ve been living wrong and being tutted at by Italians for 30 years but that stops HERE . I’m sharing the information love here for you: http://tutti-a-tavola.co.uk/how-to-cook-the-perfect-pasta/
Before the pasta had finished cooking, we made a basic traditional sauce with cheese, pepper and water. Very simple to make but flavourful and something I will definitely keep ingredients for stashed away at home. To obtain a full recipe of the above you’ll need to attend a class, as the recipes are part of the little package – you receive a password for full access afterwards.
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay to eat with the group as planned but we did try some of the pasta after it had cooked and it tasted really great. And with such a simple sauce too – as a cheese lover this pleased me and this sauce can be a staple for my home because it is so easy to make.
We took a portion of pasta home and dried it for 24 hours on some kitchen towel. I discovered a new fun fact that dried fresh pasta can be stored for up to a year if kept in a paper bag! It does need to be a paper bag though because it’s breathable – if a little bit of moisture gets into plastic packaging then the pasta would be humidified and ruin it. So there you go, make sure you have some paper bags handy if you want to give this a crack at home.
Good news! For the whole experience and the meal, this is value for money at only £26!
I would thoroughly recommend visiting a Tutti-a-Tavola, a great evening with tasty results – thanks so much Silvana!
Forked by Stefpuff