A couple of weeks ago, I got to spend the day with Katie Caldesi at her home taking an Italian cookery class as my birthday treat. I can think of no better way to spend a day than taking a cookery course; they are fun, relaxing and most of all, you always come away with so much knowledge and plenty of new skills – even in a very short space of time. I have taken a few classes before, but this time I was keen to learn how to make pasta and I found this to be a really enjoyable class. My review of this class also appears on The Foodie Bugle, in the ‘Cookery schools’ section where there are lots of other great reviews on classes that you can take around the country. If you’ve taken any really good classes yourself, please leave me a comment in the box below to tell me about it as I’m always on the hunt for a good one!
As the aromas of Italy filled the room, one student remembered once eating a wonderful pasta dish with crab on a trip to Italy, which prompted Katie to have a rummage through her freezer to see what she could find to replicate it. She didn’t find crab, but she did find some sea bream fillets and a deep-coloured shellfish stock that had previously been made. The stock was reduced down into a sauce which later made the most delicious but simple sauce for our hand-cut tagliatelli. The sea bream inspired Katie to veer off course to show us how to make ‘Tortelloni stuffed with sea bass, with lemon and a fresh tomato sauce’, a favourite recipe from her cookbook. For this, we were shown how to make an easy béchamel sauce to bind the filling. We also made a traditional sage, butter and toasted pine nut dressing to go with our ravioli, and a deliciously thick yet light sauce with lemon, cream and basil, ideal for tagliatelle. Having made all of the sauces, we were now well and truly ready to begin making our pasta.
‘Pasta with Katie’ would be perfect for anyone who has a pasta machine but doesn’t know how to use it, or, who simply enjoys making good, homemade pasta. I can also attest that a voucher makes a great birthday gift! Making your own pasta is a beautifully traditional and artisanal skill and it was very enjoyable to have been shown how to make it in such a relaxed environment as Katie’s kitchen. I would go back to try another course in a heartbeat; it was a great way to spend the day.
Don’t forget to let me know if you’ve taken any great courses! See Caldesi Cookery Courses and Restaurants for more information.