Saturday, August 13, 2011

Casual Gourmet

This past week myself and a few girlfriends attended a Pasta 101 class through The Culinary Institute of Virginia. They offer a variety of Casual Gourmet classes for the passionate home cook. Not only did we get to keep the aprons, but it was another great evening spent with a few amazing ladies.

The class started off with our instructor, Chef Dave Miller walking us through the basics of making homemade pasta and showing us our menu for the evening. After the introduction we all returned to our stations and worked in groups of 2-3 to create our 5 dishes. A few students from the institute were also available to us for questions and assistance.

- Fresh Spaghetti with Aglio e Olio
- Fresh Fetuccini Bolognese
- Fresh Ravioli with Blue Crab Filling, Artichoke Hearts, Brie and Basil *
- Bucatini Carbonara with Peas and Cream *
- Orecchiette Salad
* Recipe noted at the bottom, If you want any of the other menu items just let me know!

I worked with a girlfriend to create the Fresh Raviolis. We began by using the manual pasta machine to  work our dough to the correct thickness. Once that was achieved, we then placed our crab and brie filling on the pasta and proceeded to make our delicious raviolis!

While she boiled our raviolis, I sauteed the olive oil, garlic and artichokes for our light sauce. I personally love these kind of sauces as they really showcase the delicious simplicity of the pasta. The final product was served with fresh torn basil and a generous hand full of parmigiano. 

While making our pasta, I thought to myself what a fun evening it would be spent with a bottle or two of vino and some good friends. We're definitely going to head back for a private class for our group! If you love cooking and want to learn some new tips and recipes, I would highly recommend attending a similar class. If you're not in the Hampton Roads area I'm sure you can look into your local culinary schools!

Egg Pasta
- 4oz Bread Flour
- 4oz Semolina
- 2 Eggs
- 1tbsp Water
- 1tsp EVOO
- 1/4tsp Salt

1. Mix Flour with salt and make a well in the center.
2. Mix eggs with water and olive oil and pour into well.
3. Sitr from center until it comes together, cut into four pieces and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour. 

Fresh Ravioli with Blue Crab and Brie
- 2 packages of fresh pasta
- 6tbsp Salt
- 10 oz Crab Meat
- 1/2lb Brie Cheese, Softened
- Pepper to Taste
- 2tbsp fresh chopped Garlic
- 6oz Artichoke hearts chopped
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- 2tsp Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Salt and Pepper 

1. Make raviolis into desired shape and cook in simmering salted water, no more than 7 minutes.
2. Mix together your brie and crabmeat for filling.
3. In a pan saute artichokes and garlic in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss in the raviolis.
4. Top ravioli with lemon juice and torn basil leaves. Finish with a generous garnish of parmesan cheese.

Bucatini Carbonara
- Package of Bucatini Noodles
- 2tbsp Olive Oil
- Pancetta Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 1/2c cream
- 1/2c fresh green peas
- 1/4c Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2c Egg Yolks

1. Heat oil and cook pancetta, lightly saute garlic and add cream. Simmer 2-3min.
2. Add cheese and peas. Cook 2 more minutes at slow simmer.
3. Slowly add some of the sauce into your mixed yolk and stir. You don't want to "cook" your eggs. Once you have tempered the yolks add it into the sauce. Finally add salt and pepper to taste and toss with pasta. 
Add extra pancetta, cream, etc. to your liking if necessary!


Lauren said...

This looks awesome!

Eat. Love. and Be Merry. said...

It was a fun evening! Maybe a date night idea for you and your sweetie!