Pasta. It’s a food that conjures up images of plates piled high with spaghetti and delicate ravioli served in an Italian city. But how on earth do you make the stuff?! We were lucky enough to meet Sara Danesin Medio, of MasterChef fame, for a private cookery experience focusing on the delicacy.
As soon as we (that being Ben from York on a Fork and Binny from Binny’s Kitchen, and I) arrived at Sara’s palatial urban townhouse in the centre of York, we were welcomed with homemade melt-in-the-mouth biscuits and hot drinks. Sara’s passion for food, travel and cooking was evident right from the off, which made for easy conversation throughout the afternoon.
Firstly, it was time to make the pasta dough. With just 100g of white flour, a pinch of salt, a good quality egg and a bit of elbow grease, a generous amount of pasta was created. Sara then introduced us to her trusty pasta machine, where she gently fed our pasta dough through the contraption to make a smooth, even sheet of pasta. Despite my wishes, this wasn’t going to be made into a giant lasagne, and instead we were taught how to make 3 types of pasta all from the same original mixture.
The 3 types of pasta we created were…
Pappardelle – After frying some oil and garlic in its skin, porcini mushrooms and smoked pancetta were added to make a rich and flavourful accompaniment for the thick ribbon-like pasta. Fresh parsley was added for a final flourish and then we were encouraged to dig in! The ingredients used perfectly complimented each other and it was certainly my favourite dish of the experience.
Ravioli – These little bundles of deliciousness were filled with Parmesan, fresh herbs, ricotta and a hint of white truffle. Sara also taught us some handy cooking tips during the lesson: use 8g of salt for cooking 100g of pasta for the requisite al dente texture, and don’t waste any of the dough. Leftovers can be fed through a box grater to create fragola, which can then be flash fried and added to your final dish.
Bucatini – This spaghetti-like pasta was extremely straightforward to cook and was served with a rich tomato jam, fresh pesto and mixed olives. Sara recommended emulsifying the pesto with the pasta water to make it go further, as the pine nuts and the Parmesan used to make the pesto aren’t cheap!
We all had such a fun time meeting Sara and learning more about Italian cooking and pasta making. Each MasterChef York Travel experience comes complete with:
- Afternoon cookery class with MasterChef finalist Sara Danesin
- 2-night stay with full breakfast at the Principal York Hotel
- Dinner at the hotel on your first evening
These exclusive packages will be available to book later this year so stay tuned! It’s an incredibly rewarding experience and makes for a great trip to the historic city of York.