Learning to make filled pasta (ravioli) at the Bellini Cookery School
A few months ago a Groupon notice came along with an offer to learn to make Pasta at the Bellini Cookery School in Edinburgh. I am ¾’s Italian and I was very lucky to have my Italian Nonna teach me how to make pasta, and my mother as well, but it’s not something I’ve done much on my own – especially the fillings. The 2 or 3 times a year I break out my pasta machine involves lots of ‘re-learning’ and calls to my mother in America!! So, I thought this would be a great chance to learn from the beginning – and I brought my hubby along so that we could both make pasta together at home.
The classes take place in the Café, Gino’s Italian Kitchen 158 Dalkeith Road, which they close during the course giving us total use of the space. When we arrived we were greeted with big smiles and a gleaming stainless steel bench with half a dozen pasta machines bolted down, ready for action.
Gina and Angelo told us about themselves, their philosophy for simple, high quality ingredients and gave us some great tips and ‘secret’ recipes for a no fail filled pasta dough.
We started with the dough, eggs, flour and that ‘secret’ ingredient. While the dough rested, we made 2 fillings – spinach/ricotta and brie/mushroom and learned several different shapes – square, round, ½ round, tortelloni……. Along the way we learned some great knife techniques that had us chopping, slicing and dicing like pros.
With the dough and fillings ready – it was all hands to the pasta machines!! We cranked out miles and miles of beautiful, thin pasta until all the dough and filling was used. While we were making pasta, Angelo was talking us through a few different sauces – such as creamy mushroom and marinara. Everyone donated a portion of their ravioli for our dinner and we still went home with a pizza box full of ravioli each. Fresh ravioli freezes well (always cook from frozen) and we had enough to freeze for 3 or 4 more meals.
Going to the class reignited my love for making pasta and I’ve been on a ravioli spree – making it once or twice a month ever since. Nothing you buy in the stores tastes anywhere near as good. I’ll be posting some of my recipes soon but making pasta is not something I would recommend learning from a blog, a book or even youtube – so if you don’t have an Italian Nonna handy – do get yourself along to Bellini Cookery School AND you’ll learn Angelo’s secret recipe – my lips are sealed ;). Also check out their other classes including making gnocchi, breads and regional Italian meals.
Healthy Scale: Pasta Making
Mind: (+) Learning is always good for the mind.
Body: (+) I love knowing what goes into my food so making it myself is always a healthier option – and tastes better too. And kneading pasta is a good workout for the arms!!
Community: (+) The social aspect of the class was one of the best parts! Gina and Angelo are fantastic teachers and hosts so I was happy to help support their business.