Monday, October 21, 2013

My Experience at the Institute of Culinary Education - Pasta Making Class 101!

Hey guys!

My husband and I did a really cool thing together – we took a pasta making class at ICE (Institute of Culinary Education). ICE – for those of you who don’t know – is a very well respected culinary school in NYC that also offers recreational cooking classes. We love to cook new things and challenge ourselves, and thought it would be really awesome to make our own pasta! ICE offers a WIDE variety of recreational classes – everything from cooking steak, to pizza, cooking classes for kids, baking classes, vegan classes and so on.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up, I’ll admit I was a little nervous! I felt like it was the first day of school all over again ha. I never took a cooking class before and I honestly didn’t want to suck. The class was on a Saturday night and ran from 6:00-10:30pm. It seems like a long time, but we had such a blast that we didn’t notice the time flying by! Here’s how it went. We started off the class by making our own pasta dough. Our whole class stood around one table and did it together. Very simple recipe – 3 large eggs, 2 ¼ cup flour and a pinch of salt. Sounds easy, right? You really get an appreciation for those little old Italian ladies who make dough by hand – it is TAXING. You need to knead the dough until it’s all uniform and springs back when touched. They say 7-10minutes but since we are amateurs, it took a little while longer. Let’s just say I felt like I had big muscles when we were done. After our dough was done, we wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it sit for 30min.

Now the fun part came. Our class was divided into 3 smaller teams. Each team was responsible for creating their own pasta and sauces. Our class made everything – ravioli, spaghetti, cannelloni, fettucini, etc and the accompanying sauces. Our team worked together to collect all the ingredients needed for our dishes. It was kinda tough being in someone else’s kitchen and not knowing where things were! Our instructor was great – she demonstrated how to make the pasta using the Kitchen Aid mixer. She was always around when you needed help, however the class was more of a figure it out on your own type class which was great for learning. We got the packet of recipes in the beginning of class, and worked together with our team to create the dishes.

Greg at our cooking station!

The kitchen was a bevy of activity – people grabbing ingredients, water boiling, food processors buzzing, people running to and from the stove to check on their creations. Our team got to make ravioli, which I’ve always wanted to do! We rolled out our dough using the Kitchen Aid mixer until it was paper thin. Then we made the ricotta filling and cut the ravioli by hand. We split them into a few batches, and popped them in the boiling water. When they rose to the top, they were done and ready to be platted. It was amazing! Greg and I are usually not big pesto sauce fans, however the pesto we made for the ravioli was very good. We also made spaghetti with cacio e pepe (a wonderfully tasty and easy to make sauce!) It’s essentially cracked pepper, percorino, romano and some pasta water. This sauce is so quick and easy to make – will definitely make it again when we are having company! Think adult mac and cheese. Yeah, you need it.

Our pesto sauce in the food processor

Us having a blast!

Our finished ravioli with pesto!

Another team's beautiful spaghetti dish!


Our awesome cacio e pepe!

My overall experience was really positive and rewarding. My favorite part was when all teams lined up their dishes on one table buffet style, and you got to try what everyone made! After all the hard work (I was definitely sore the next day!) it was nice to sit down with our class, have some wine and of course, dig in. It was beyond rewarding eating pasta you made from scratch. The taste is unparalleled. We plan on going back to ICE and taking another class. I wish we could do it more often, but at $100+ per person we will make it a special occasion activity! Thanks for reading guys.

We got to taste all this goodness!

Where we all ate together

Buon appetito!

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