Pasta is one of those incredibly popular foods that people eat without even considering how it’s made. Granted, a lot of the pasta we eat is likely to have been made in a factory and not quite as special as authentic and handmade Italian pasta. At the weekend, I was invited along to a Pasta Evangelists masterclass with Love Pop Ups London. Here, we were taught some amazing pasta making skills and how to create our very own rainbow pasta with the help of Pasta-extraordinaire and author, Carmela Sereno Haynes of Carmela’s Kitchen.
Who are Pasta Evangelists?
Pasta Evangelists is a relatively new business, having only started in 2017. They deliver fresh, artisanal pasta recipe kits to homes across the UK. Their pasta is crafted every day by Italian hands and their sauces are prepared with the best produce from across Italy. This allows people to create authentic, 5* pasta dishes in as little as 5 minutes with simple-to-follow recipes and ingredients. They pride themselves on serving restaurant-quality pasta straight to your door.
I’ve seen many of my pals attend pasta masterclasses via snapchat and instagram and it’s always been something i’ve been really interested in doing myself. So, when the chance popped up I immediately agreed, only to then find out it was in fact RAINBOW PASTA! Even better!
The masterclass was held at Enoteca Rabezzana which is a lovely Italian wine bar and restaurant located opposite Smithfield Market. We were welcomed with a drink, I obviously chose Prosecco… and then took to our places (Prosecco in hand) whilst we waited for everyone to arrive so that we could crack on with the pasta class.
Carmela introduced herself and told us a little about her background, such what region of Italy she originated from and some tales about her Nonna and how she remembers her making pasta when she was little. She then showed us the dough that she had made the night before which would give our pasta the rainbow colouring, these were made using beetroot for the red, spinach for the green and Japanese flowers for the blue. We later used strands of these dough after they’d been stretched to make patterns on our own pasta.
Carmela then demonstrated how to make our egg dough which is the main component when making pasta. I was so shocked to find that all that was needed to make pasta was an egg and flour. I thought pasta involved a whole host of ingredients!
We then began to create our own egg dough and it was evident that some other people in the class had done this before. My technique was not completely up to scratch but fear not! I got there in the end which just proves that anyone can make pasta when they’re being taught by a master!
We left our dough to sit for a while whilst Carmella taught us the next steps, which included the use of one of the fun pasta machines I always see on tv programs but have never been able to use so this was very exciting. She made it look so easy and fast as she folded and kneaded and fed it through the machine multiple times to create the perfect thin and long stretch of pasta which would create the base for our rainbow pasta!
When Carmela had finished, It was our turn to run our pasta through the machine just like she did so that we could make a flat sheet of pasta. I struggled a little with this. I wasn’t very good at putting the pasta in straight and so it ended up being a little strange in shape.
The final step was to add the coloured dough to our pasta, Carmela stretched these out in the same way as the egg dough and then cut them into strips. We then placed these strips onto our pasta and ran them through the machine again to laminate and smush them all together to make perfect multicoloured pasta. All that was left to do was to make it into the famous pasta shapes!
She showed us how to make a variety of well known pasta shapes. These were: penne, tortellini, sopresini (which resembles a ladies belly button), farfalle and Garganelli. Here are some examples, I’ve stolen these images from Carmela’s amazing Instagram page as my photos (or shapes) weren’t as good as hers!
And here’s mine. Sadly they weren’t looking so sexy when I got them home but that didn’t stop them from tasting wonderful! Especially with the beautiful sauce and Parmesan from pasta evangelists that were in the boxes that we got to take home!
Thanks so much to pasta evangelists and Love pop ups London, I had the best afternoon and loved all the tips and tricks, will definitely be trying to make pasta again in the future (and carrying it home flat so it doesn’t all squish together)