An evening of pasta conviviality

Twenty one people gathered for a handmade pasta class and dinner, where a hush would fall over the group, heads down in deep dough concentration. Then, suddenly the room would erupt with lively chatter, connections being made here and there, and eventually, a supply of pasta amassed to feed an army. We were excited to use local flour from Greenwillow Grains and Tabor Bread, both of which couldn’t have been fresher, having been milled right before the class.

Below is Courtney Sproule, owner of Din Din Supper Club, who Slow Food owes a huge thank you to for donating her charming space. Courtney hosts special events as well as Friday and Saturday night suppers.

Courtney Sproule and her Din Din supper club

Slow Food’s Jane Pellicciotto, the evening’s pasta instructor, warns fellow steering committee member Russell Ruscigno to not overcook the garlic for the broccoli rabe sauce. But this is just two Italians sparring, as Russell, a former restauranteur, knows his way around a commercial kitchen.

Did you burn the garlic?

While “The Big Night” silently plays in the background, attendees are hard at work on forming their balls of dough, starting with a volcano of flour.

A big night

It never seems like the scrappy mess of dough will come together but it always does.

Serious pasta makers

Dough, ready to go, rests for a while before shaping pasta.

Pasta dough ready to go

Forming orecchiette takes a while to master. After a small ball of dough is dragged across the surface with a butter knife, the resulting shell-like shape is inverted over a finger, while being careful not to remove the textured surface that helps sauce cling to the pasta.

Jane demonstrates orecchiette

A fusilli-like shape is easy to make with a wooden skewer by starting with a tiny cigar shape and rolling the skewer over the dough till it twists into a ribbon-like shape. Presto!

Make your own fusili!

One attendee on a month-long stint considering stumbled into the right place. Italian grandmothers have nothing on her and and fellow pasta wranglers mastering the art of orecchiette.

A happy pasta maker

Russell and Stacey, fellow steering committee members and excellent kitchen crew, approve of the sauce.

Sauce approval

Thanks to all who took part in this event. You made it the fun evening it was. Thanks to Cheryl Brock for capturing the evening in images!

Thanks for sharing