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Essential Ingredient Pasta Class

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by Faye (subscribe)
I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published July 19th 2015
Create fresh pasta that's divine
The street aroused memories of that luscious tantalising bite into a freshly baked chocolate melting moment with caramel filling. The aroma from The Essential Ingredient stirred recollections of MasterChef's Gary Mehigan's visit exactly one year ago where he demonstrated masterful cooking techniques. His appealing food was served to entice the hungry crowd and so I returned to The Essential Ingredient to learn the skill of creating homemade pasta with chef, Christine Sheppard.

Essential Ingredient
Essential Ingredient

Chris, as we referred to her, tells us that she is the Food Editor of the Woolworths Fresh magazine. She has a lot of knowledge which she generously shared with us and was patient with some of us who were slow in pressing and punching the dough. She was expertly assisted by one of the Essential Ingredient's staff, Zyk.

Cooking school
Kitchen for cooking class

In this three hour practical class, ten of us learned the techniques for making fabulous pasta and molding the dough into fettuccine, ravioli and orecchiette pasta.

Spaghetti
Spaghetti

We were put into groups of two or three and each group given the task of creating a dish. One group were to create a beef and tomato sauce ragu. Another group to create Orecchiette (little ears of pasta) with sausage and radicchio. Another creation was calamari with squid ink fettuccine. Chris demonstrated how to get the ink. Pull the innards out from inside the fresh calamari. Only a little of the ink sac is added to the dough.

Calamari
Removing the innards

My daughter and I created Maultaschen, a traditional German dish which looks like large ravioli. We began with mixing the flour and fashioning it into a well then adding the egg and mixing it all together to form a soft dough.

Egg dough
Mixing the dough

We kneaded the dough until it was smooth, wrapped it in plastic and put it aside for 30 minutes.


We then cut ingredients for our dishes such as onions, sausages, bacon and spices. Next the dough was to be cut into four pieces and each piece was to be rolled through the pasta machine.

Pasta through the pasta machine
Pasta through the pasta machine

My daughter and I worked beautifully as a team I put the dough through the machine while she cranked the pin around and around to make long thin pieces of pasta. When we tired of this, we swapped roles.

pieces of pasta
Long thin pieces of pasta

Our first piece shredded but Team Faye was determined to get a good quality pasta out on the bench. We succeeded the second time, the third time, yay, the fourth piece of silky pasta. Looking up at the clock, time was running out.

squid ink pasta
Squid Ink Pasta

Leaning over the counter reading the recipe, we still needed to mix the filling, cut the dough for the ravioli, cook the pasta and make a butter sauce. Is this what MasterChef is like? Sweat poured from my brow watching the other contestants (oops, participants) create their classy pastas. I was in fear of Gary or Cravat Man wandering over and telling me it needs more spice.

Orecchiette
Orecchiette pasta

Chris came over and mixed the filling together and spread it over half the flat dough. The other half was folded over the filling, then cut into large segments.

pasta filling
Filling for Maultaschen

Cutting into large segments
Cutting into large segments

These were placed into hot water to cook then we scooped them into the butter sauce in the frypan. The aroma was a hit for the senses. It was wonderful.

Maultaschen
Maultaschen - Mouth Pockets

Everyone placed their superb pasta dishes on the long table, we toasted each others' success and tucked in to a fabulous meal.

pasta dish
The finished dishes

pasta dishes
Classy pasta

The Essential Ingredient has cookery classes throughout the year. Their shop is large and stocked full of kitchen utensils and cook books that are hard to pass up.
Essential Ingredient
Inside the Essential Ingredient

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Why? Have fun making pasta
When: Various dates
Phone: 9555 8300
Where: 731-735 Darling Street, Rozelle NSW
Cost: $145 per person
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