we have been in florence the last few days as we’ve continued our adventure in italy. i have been to florence only one other time, but it is perhaps my favorite city in italy and it’s been such a treat to get to be back here with my family. yesterday, our family took a little pasta making class at a small restaurant in the city and we had so much fun!
eleanor, samson and conrad were determined to do each and every step of our pasta making, and i was impressed that even conrad didn’t grow tired of the repetition of many of the steps, which require a lot of time and patience. they were diligent about the details, like closing each ravioli just right. we’ve decided we will be bringing our new found pasta making skills home and attempting more homemade pasta in our kitchen soon. if it can get my kids out of their spaghetti and mac and cheese only rut and more into tortellini and ravioli and other special pastas (as well as sauces), i am all for it!
we made three different types of pasta and then ate them at the end, which turned into a fun little taste-test as eleanor decided we should judge the three kinds together. during our lesson, they set our table for making the pasta right up by their front window, which meant a lot of people walking by would pause and watch and point and wave. the evening before on our way to dinner, our family had paused and watched a few shoe cobblers making leather shoes in an old beautiful shoe shop, so i think it was fun for the kids to be in that situation where it was their turn to be the “apprentices” making delicious things inside the window. samson made a comment about how he hoped they could hear our instructor so they knew the recipe when they walked away. :)
a few photos josh and i took whenever the other one was holding the babies (in our rush to leave that morning we had forgotten to grab the baby carriers so we juggled babies on hips during this class and while i’d normally say that is a recipe for not the best time, i can’t tell you how much fun we all had regardless, with the babies being so good, and josh and i just switching off holding both while the other tried their hand at pasta making or taking some photos of the process, too. it’s definitely a highlight for me from our trip so far.
lots of photos!
just two eggs and some flour. incredible what it can produce. the eggs here are so orange in color, and have so much taste to them. we are renting a small apartment here in florence and so we made a big batch of scrambled eggs one morning and i couldn’t stop commenting on the taste. we buy free range organic eggs back home in new york, but STILL, these just taste far more flavorful and delicious. our instructor told us that while these eggs are still fresh, they are about 5-6 days old because they might be too humid if they are any fresher. helps with the consistency of homemade pasta in some way.
kneading the dough until it is very firm and almost elastic-like (activating the gluten) which usually takes about 8-10 minutes. this way when you roll it out very thin, it does not break.
babies in their papa’s arms!
making ravioli (we stuffed them with a mix of ricotta with a bit of parmesan – so it’s not too soft – and mixed the cheeses with some pesto.) they also had a truffle stuffing but we just nixed that before stuffing since none of us loves truffle.
the kids made perfect little ravioli squares with mama’s dough, too. they didn’t grow tired of this step so i happily handed my task over to them!
using just a touch of water on your finger to make a line around the edges and close the ravioli. the water works like glue and as long as you seal it everywhere, it’s good to go!
we also made a different shaped ravioli, like a tortellini but our teacher called it something else which translated to “bad hat.” it is something that looks like the pope’s hat? it was difficult for me to understand but if any of you are italian and know please help me understand in the comments! i tried looking it up after but didn’t have much luck.
after all of your pasta has been made, you just boil it for a few minutes (3-5 depending on the shape) and then mix in the sauce of your choice.
taste-testing all three of the pastas we made together at the end of our lesson! the kids loved the one with pomodoro sauce the most, but they also ate the ravioli and tortellini shaped ones with a light pesto sauce on top which made me very happy. those were my favorites of the three we made.
loving our time here in florence so much. it’s a beautiful city where i haven’t really eaten a pasta dish i didn’t love! don’t even get me started on the pizza….