Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pasta 101

Ciao amici!

In college, I am currently studying Integrated Marketing Communications with hopes of becoming a media maven in the advertising/marketing realm. However, what you may not know is that I am also an Italian minor.

My obsession with all things Italy began at a young age- I remember sitting on my mom's bed in elementary school watching a documentary on Venice, in awe of the city's beauty. This past spring I had the opportunity to stay with my relatives in Lucca, Italy, and I featured the amazing food on my blog a few weeks back.

Currently, I am taking a course entitled Italian Culture: A Journey Through Food. Sounds amazing, right? It's not all fun and food- the class is entirely taught in Italian and we have weekly pop quizzes and presentations. However, every once and a while, the culinary arts take the stage...

This past week, we made HOMEMADE PASTA!

First, we had to create a "vulcano di farina", or a "volcano of flour," for the egg to sit in. We continued by slowly mixing the egg and the flour using a fork, and eventually kneading the dough with our hands. It got messy and sticky fast!

However, the professors Silvia and Marella were pros. Their pasta dough was smooth and thin, and went through the pasta machine with ease!

Silvia unveiled perfect tagliatelle, which are long, flat ribbons of pasta similar to spaghetti.

Using a filling of ricotta and spinach, I made little tortelloni with my dough. It was a lot of work for two little tortelloni, but it was so worth it.

That same day, I was giving a presentation on the Italian brand Perugina. For those of you who are not familar, they are the geniuses behind the chocolate candy Baci.

Baci are little hazelnut chocolate drops of heaven. I found a simple recipe for the cioccolatini (little chocolates) on the blog Texanerin Baking, and decided to make some for the class!

Before taking a bath in melted chocolate, these little guys were about to hop into the fridge. Nutella, whole hazelnuts, chocolate? Dreams do come true.

My roomie Greg helped me out by coating the cioccolatini in melted chocolate. What a precious little helper he is.

So needless to say, it was the most delicious class I've had in a long time. I definitely learned how difficult and time-consuming pasta making is; I have a newfound respect for my relatives who slave over the pasta maker on major holidays!

Have you ever made homemade pasta? What are your favorite Italian foods? Comment below!

Ci vediamo, amici! Buon appetito!

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