Date Night with Cucina Cocina! We’re makin’ Pasta!

You know you’re in sync with your husband when you sign up for a “Date Night” Pasta class and he already bought a pasta machine and a ravioli tray for your birthday!


What a guy, huh? 🙂

So after a Friday night birthday dinner with the family, and laughing over the timing of my gifts, Saturday night we went to Santa Monica for our “Date Night” Pasta Class with Cucina, Cocina!

When we arrived, there were flowers, candles, wine, chocolates, soft music and sliced baguettes with oil and balsamic vinegar. What a nice way to start to a cooking class!


Taught by Tracy Kontos and Alejandra Schrader of Cucina, Cocina, the menu included linguine and clams in a white wine sauce and butternut squash stuffed ravioli in sage and brown butter sauce!

First we learned to make the pasta dough. Flour, egg yolks a bit of olive oil, two fingers and a smile! Tracy showed us how…




and then it was our turn…


Thank goodness there was wine!


Each couple made two batches of dough – one for linguine and one for ravioli! While the dough was chilling in the fridge, Alejandra showed us how to make the clam sauce! She used manilla clams. They were soaking in water with a bit of flour. Alejandra explained it would help naturally thicken the sauce as the clams were cooking.


A bit of onion, garlic went into the pan!

Then some wine!

Alejandra let the sauce simmer to evaporate the alcohol.

While that was cooking Tracy demonstrated how to roll the dough into sheets. We used the Kitchen Aid mixers with pasta rollers/cutters. That was fun!


Tracy showed us a trick to make the pasta go around in a circle as it pressed thinner! I won’t be able to do that with my hand crank machine, but it was a great tip!


Neat, huh?

When the pasta was done, we had our turn! I don’t have any pictures of that… we were busy rolling dough through our spiffy red mixer! When both batches of pasta were done (two different thickness), Tracy showed us how to make ravioli. Who needs a fancy piping bag, when you can just use a big storage bag? That’s another great tip for filling anything, not just ravioli. Tracy had prepped the butternut squash filling for us so we could get straight to the pasta.

She showed us how to use water or an egg wash as a binder between the layers of pasta…

After placing the top layer of pasta over the filling and gently working out the air bubbles (so the ravioli doesn’t burst in the water!), it was time to cut shapes! We used a pasta wheel and a pasta cutter.

Of course, other students got creative and made stars! We were satisfied with traditional circles. (Just wait until I make pasta at home! I’m going to find some wild cookie cutters and go crazy! Hahaha!) Here we are, making our own ravioli. Start with pasta, then filling.

It’s Date Night Pasta! Look at that shot! Hot stuff! 🙂

Cut and ready to go!

Next it was time to make linguine! Alejandra helped us roll our pasta through the cutters, dip the noodles in flour and turn them into lovely little nests! I wish I had more pictures of her helping us, but here is how our pasta turned out… can you tell we are amateurs? Alejandra’s lovely pasta is on the left. Ours are next to hers. It’s ok! We’ve never made pasta before in our life until that night! We’re going to get better with every batch. You’ll see. 🙂

It looks better on a plate!

Now it was time for the best part! Cooking and eating! Fresh pasta cooks very quickly, so we all lined up while Tracy and Alejandra cooked the pasta and added their sauces.

Clam sauce for the linguine!

Brown butter sauce with sage for the Ravioli!

Thankfully, after 26 years of marriage, not only are we in sync without knowing it, my husband is patient enough to put up with me saying “Don’t eat yet! I have to take pictures!” This is how our pasta turned out!


It was as delicious as it looks!

Here is the Ravioli… you’ll notice there isn’t as much on this little plate. That’s because we had a few “issues” with our pasta and these were the best of the bunch. You do know this is an Imperfect Kitchen blog right? Just making sure I’m living up to the name. 🙂

Overall, we had a great time! It was fun to learn how to make our own pasta. I am excited to create fresh noodles for our family, and learn how to make pretty nests like Alejandras! So if any of you are near LA and have some time, check out Cucina, Cocina and take a class or two. Tracy and Alejandra are so much fun! Tell them I sent you. I promise you’ll have a great time too. 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. I love that you take a ton of pictures – they really help visual people like me. And I know taking pics takes a ton of time – so truly, thank you!

    Reply

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