Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quincy Pasta Queens

Our beloved Quincy Natural Foods co-op has been offering weekday evening cooking classes taught by community members. Last week I attended a class offered by the self-proclaimed "Pasta Queens" of Quincy. They are two local women who share a passion for pasta and clearly a great friendship. Their style of teaching and cooking was fun and casual. They had the whole class participating in rolling and cutting and filling pasta creations. We made pot stickers and ravioli and cannelloni and even some fettuccine with the extra dough. 

I've done homemade pasta in the past but I never got in the habit of making it. Come to think of it, my husband even made me homemade pasta while we were dating. He also made me rack of lamb one funny time (story for another post). But anyway, he TRICKED me! I thought he was interested in cooking but since he really hasn't cooked since, it is clear that he was just trying to impress me. Very sweet this husband of mine. 

But even after taking the class where I was reminded of how simple pasta is in principle (the pot sticker dough was literally made from just flour and water), it still seems like a bit of a production. Certainly having some basic equipment like a pasta dough roller would help if you are making any kind of quantity. I could see getting a couple friends together once a year for a little pasta making party. You could set up a production line and make a bunch to eat that week and a bunch for the freezer.

Being the last one left in the class still indulging in all of the delicious creations we made and cooked up, I was the lucky recipient of some big hunks of extra pasta dough. In the next couple of days at home I made ravioli with it. Some I filled with a roasted butternut squash filling with dreams of covering it with a nutmeg cream sauce. Others I filled with a blue cheese walnut concoction. The pasta dough itself was colorful. One of the Pasta Queens made a beet and also a carrot dough. See below.

The lovely hands-on mess of our pasta making class
Flour and water transformed!

At home roasting butternut squash to fill ravioli

Love the colors!
I used a canning jar lid to cut and press the ravioli. I used the thin side to cut through the two layers of dough to form a circle and then flipped the lid over and pressed the fat side onto the circle of dough to seal the edges. This worked surprisingly well. These were frozen on the baking sheet and then bagged up once they were hard. 
P.S. I pulled some from the freezer over the weekend to serve to guests covered in nutmeg cream sauce (garlic, butter, chardonnay, cream, freshly grated nutmeg). Dream fulfilled.

They turned out well. Yummy to eat and fun to look at. If not a Pasta Queen, I at least felt like a Pasta Princess for a day.



  1. Just want you to know that I do stop by at least once a week and check out your blog. The food is yummy looking and your writing is very good. I like the pictures of side pocket's grandson, too. ;-)

  2. Love this site. Food is a bit out of synch with our seasons and there is absolutely nothing about redfish on the half-shell, gumbo, pasta bordelaise, crawfish etouffee or chargrilled oysters -- what's up with that?

    Love the recipes, the writing and peaking into your world of food.... :}