Basic Pasta Making: An Experience Continued

Chefs Carla Brigliadori and Margarita Forés get into Day 2.

Chefs Carla Brigliadori and Margarita Forés get into Day 2.

 

    To start, Carla and Margarita showed the class how to prepare Insalata di moscardini fagioli, an octopus and bean salad followed by canapes of chicken livers and sage as well as a salted cod served Mont Blanc style. These were simple, yet sophisticated appetizers with great flavor.

   Carla and Margarita followed up the beautiful starters with Piadina -- a thin flatbread made using only flour, salt, water and lard specially supplied by Zubuchon of Cebu. Carla demonstrated the construction of piadina using traditional instruments: the teggia, a flat, handmade terracota pan traditionally used to cook the piadina on the stovetop along a large wooden rolling pin, perfect for rolling the dough flat. Batches of warm, delicious piadina made its rounds around the class accompanied by prosciutto, salami, caperberries and pickled onions for a savory treat. Piadina with freshly made ricotta, marmalata, and honey also made its way around class for a satisfying sweet bite.

12 types of fresh pasta included in the class

12 types of fresh pasta included in the class

    Professional chefs, restaurateurs and home cooks were all in attendance to Casa Artusi’s second class last Saturday, the 29th of November. Carla Brigliadori, noted chef, sommelier and head of Casa Artusi joined Margarita Fores once again for an enjoyable afternoon instructing an eager class in the ways of Emilia-Romagna homestyle cooking.

    The class started with a small introduction about Pellegrino Artusi and the foundation of his cooking school. At the core of Artusi’s ethos is making sure that the all regions, whose local cuisines vary tremendously, are highlighted in their roles in crafting a cohesive and wholly Italian culinary tradition. The instructors demonstrated traditional preparations, with special focus on fresh, handmade pasta, and the use of the best produce and regional products. No shortcuts. Just careful attention to detail.

A Savory Piadina plate

A Savory Piadina plate

    At the heart of the class were three pasta sauces whose preparations Carla and Margarita masterfully demonstrated. First, they showed a Fonduta Semplice, a rich, savory cheese sauce followed by a vibrant, mixed seafood sauce starring fresh, meaty river prawns. Finally, they taught the students the preparation of Ragu alla Bolognese, the universally loved, classic slow-cooked meat sauce. All this in conjunction with preparing pasta fresco per sfoglia -- fresh pasta, the star of any Italian dish. The class was taught how to prepare 12 different shapes, with a short discussion on what sauces suit them best. Here both novice and professional cooks in class learned techniques hands-on from certified Mariettes, experts in the style of traditional home cooking.


    Casa Artusi’s short courses make for a great learning session, be it for starter cooks or those in the profession looking to refine their technique. Casa Artusi Philippines brings the total experience for Italian food lovers right here in the Metro.

Casa Artusi Reopens Its Doors

  Margarita Forés of Casa Artusi Philippines with Carla righ

 

Margarita Forés of Casa Artusi Philippines with Carla righ

Casa Artusi Philippines proudly reopened its doors and kicked off the first class for  “La sfoglia di una volta”, Pasta Making and More, The Artusi way last November 23, 2014 at Whitespace Manila.

Casa Artusi is the centre of gastronomic culture dedicated to Italian home cooking in the old town of Forlimpopoli, district of Forlì-Cesena, in the region of Emilia-Romagna.  It is, all at once a library, restaurant, cookery school, wine cellar, museum and events venue- a living museum to home cookery, if you will. The Philippines was chosen to house the first overseas campus, opening in 2012.  It offers cooking courses to gourmands and professional cooks alike, anyone seeking to learn authentic methods and gain a better understanding of traditional Romagno cooking.

 

What sets Casa Artusi Philippines apart from other centres for learning is that it allows one to go beyond the technical aspect of preparing food; it also delves into folk history, traditional tools,  the origin of each dish and,  interestingly enough, how certain components were successfully adapted to locally available produce.

All the recipes provided were from ”La scienza in cucina l’arte di mangier bene”, or Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by the namesake of Casa Artusi, Pellegrino Artusi a merchant and gastronome with a passion for traditional home cooking, Emilia Romagna style.  It first came off press in 1865, and has been reprinted and translated in several major languages over the decades; this edition holds a comprehensive collection of dishes, culled from fine home cooks from around the region and had been tested exhaustively.  

The class began with a warm welcome by chef Margarita Fores, who then introduced Carla Brigliadori, head of Casa Artusi since 2008, noted chef and sommelier. Both formidable cooks, they worked together to teach and demonstrate to the class  in a charming mix of English and Italian,.  The three-hour course provided a mix of instruction and discussion of cooking techniques, peppered with anecdotes and historical facts, some hands-on production and a goodly amount of food and vino tasting.

  Carla Brigliadori demonstrates as Margarita Forés explains the process to the class.

 

Carla Brigliadori demonstrates as Margarita Forés explains the process to the class.

 

Prepared dishes were passed around, expertly paired with fine wines. Between sips and nibbles, exchanges of local culinary lore and discussions of what made each dish and technique special to the area, one cannot help but be impressed by the simplicity and quality of ingredients, the thoughtful preparation and the genuine appreciation of food: things universal to food lovers everywhere.


Casa Artusi Philippines brings the heart and art of Italian cooking to Manila, and for people who want to experience it as a whole, this is not to be missed.

 

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  La Sfoglia di Una Volta - Pasta Making the Artusi Way

 

La Sfoglia di Una Volta - Pasta Making the Artusi Way

This first session tackled the following:

  • 2 Antipasto —Crostini di Fagetini, a rustic liver and sage spread on crisp toast and Baccalà Mantecato, a savory spread consisting of whipped cod in cream over crostini.

  • 3 Classic Pasta Sauces — Genovese Pesto, Salsa Frutti di Mara and Bolognese

  • Piadina — A versatile grilled flatbread, one of the quintessential preparations of Romagna.

  • Handmade Pasta Dough, and 12 traditional shapes – Basic ratios, methods of forming and recommended sauces and fillings for each kind.

The recipes were explained in depth, and during the course of demonstration it was explained how each evolved to its present version. Traditional implements, specially flown in, were used—artisan made earthen slabs, large rolling pins, a 4- cornered marble mortar and wood pestle and carved pasta moulds. The students were invited to touch, smell and/or taste the dishes in the different stages of cooking, emphasizing the importance of being familiar with the texture, colour, aroma and taste of what's being cooked. It was a hands-on experience, from the mixing, kneading and rolling out of dough, to the shaping and cooking of the piadina and various pasta shapes and sauces.

  Students at Casa Artusi Philippines' first session

 

Students at Casa Artusi Philippines' first session