On a blustery autumn afternoon, faces peer through the glass captivated by the rhythmic movement of the soft dough under her palm. Gathering inside, stories are shared of pasta machines still in boxes; some unopened, others used once or maybe twice. One classmate admits her first attempt at pasta was so inedible that her family gave her the workshop voucher for Christmas. Two ladies had simply been told by their respective daughters to turn up at 409 Mt Eden Rd and to remember to take an apron – early Mother’s Day presents.
Stefania Ugolini from Pasta & Cuore punctuated the two hour hands-on workshop with a brief history of pasta and tales from her upbringing in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. We were delighted (relieved) to hear pasta requires two pantry staples – eggs and flour, but must always be made with love.
Stefania shared her techniques for the best way to mix dough with a precisely weighed flour to egg ratio. Kneading required a 90 degree turn, fold, then gentle knead until smooth – never flip the dough. Roll from the middle to the edge making an oval – never a circle – as this fits neatly in the pasta machine. She also explained the best knife action for cutting the final dough into basic shapes such as tagliatelle, pappardelle and taglioline; with tips on the best way to store and cook the pasta.
Delighted with my tagliatelle, a simple lemon, chilli and caper sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan was the perfect partner for a delightful dinner the next day.
Pasta & Cuore run two pasta workshops – basic and filled pasta – for up to eight people. For more information and details of the next workshop dates, click on the website link below:
Pasta & Cuore – Handmade Heartmade
409 Mt Eden Road
Mt Eden, Auckland
Before this novice attempts to make pasta at home, the pasta machine, still in its box, needs to be collected from a friend.