For my birthday, I arranged a vegetarian cooking class in Bellagio!
We began by gathering our ingredients from various specialty shops around Bellagio. The instructor explained a bit about common Italian ingredients and why she prefers to buy certain things at one shop over another.
Back in the kitchen, we popped a bottle of Prosecco, nibbled on Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with a delightfully thick and sweet 12 year old Balsamic vinegar from Modena and got to work on our erbetti and cheese ravioli, which we paired with a sage-butter sauce. Erbetti is like spinach, except not exactly, but close enough :)
I’d always wanted to make homemade pasta, but found it really intimidating. It’s actually much easier than pie crust, which also intimidated me at one point in time, but turned out to be no big deal.
This recipe is for two people; the general rule of thumb for pasta dough is 100g of flour to one egg, per person.
Boil the spinach, squeeze out as much water as possible and let it cool. Blend the spinach with the rest of the filling ingredients, until smooth. We used a food processor.
According to the instructor, wood is the best surface for making pasta dough. Make a mound with your flour, and hollow out a well in the center, you should be able to see the surface of the worktop. Crack the eggs in to the well and add a pinch of salt.
Using a fork, scramble the egg, gradually adding a bit of flour to the mix.
When it’s time to roll out the pasta, sprinkle the pasta machine with flour, break off a bit of dough, flatten it, and roll it though on the first (biggest) setting of the pasta machine. Roll it through 2-3 times, then move to the next smallest setting, roll it through 2-3 times, then go to the next smallest setting, etc. When you can see your hand through it, it’s done. Don’t forget to keep flouring your machine!
Next, on a flour-dusted work surface, cut the dough into squares. Put a bit of filling in the center of each square, cover it with another dough square, and crimp the edges. A little filling goes a long way… use about half of what you think you need, or risk them bursting when you go to boil them!