A couple of weeks ago, some lovely friends and I got together for a bit of a pasta-making party. It was, as you might imagine, both fun and delicious, and a bit educational to boot.
When we showed up at the door, each of us nerdy enough to have brought her own apron, our wonderful host gave us each a stapled, multi-recipe handout. As a paper lover (sorry, trees), a visual learner, and a former English teacher, I thought this was the most brilliant thing I'd seen in ages. Seriously, from now on, I'm giving people useful handouts as a takeaway after a get-together.
Moving on from the handout, she showed us a five minute youtube clip of a woman making pasta dough. Since we were all doing this for the first time (aside from one late-arriving friend who had made pasta once), this was actually really helpful. And then the real fun began.
We made several batches of an eggy pasta and one batch of a vegan dough. After our dough blobs rested for about twenty minutes, we got to play with the shiny machine--the hand-crank stainless steel pasta maker. If you don't have one of these, you can certainly still make pasta (and have a pasta party!) using just rolling pins.
After pressing them to the desired thick(thin)ness, we added fillings--four in all:
**Pear and pecorino
**Mushroom and ricotta
**Artichoke, ricotta, and parmesan
**Sweet potato (seen below)
Aside from their lovely conversation, friends really come in handy for this next part which requires lifting long, very thin sheets of pasta to close up the ravioli:
I took this photo in part to show my kids, because I knew they'd find it funny, and in part to show that you really don't need fancy tools--we cut some of the ravioli using Bojey and Ninna's playdough cutter, and it worked well, making a very pretty edge. Ravioli all but finished--it just needs to be boiled for a couple of minutes:
A delicious table of food. If I think about it too long, I start to feel full all over again:
Because the ravioli is so rich and tasty, you really don't need much else. Aside from our four kinds of ravioli, we had two very simple toppings: grated parmesan and warm caramelized onions. On the side we ate an amazing salad (which I believe was wilted kale?), and of course we drank some red wine.
I had so much fun, and I'd love to do it again (and suggest that others try it!). Just have guests bring a filling each, tools if they have them, and a hearty appetite. Add a green salad and some wine, and some instructions, and you're good to go. And be sure to start with a sparkling clean kitchen because you'll use a LOT of dishes, pots, etc. (sorry, dear hostess!)
Any other cooking parties you can suggest? I'd love to branch out.