We were recently invited to spend a frigid afternoon at Eataly in Boston for what turned out to be a fabulous experience called Cook Better, Eat Better: Fresh Northern Italian Pasta. Yes, we were off to cooking class at this massive Italian food emporium!
I was greeted at the entrance to the cooking school with a glass of prosecco (Flor Prosecco NV to be precise, from the Veneto) and met my table mates Susan and Karen. Together we'd be learning about the northern Italian region, it's cooking style and wines and enjoying an afternoon of deliciousness and fun.
Along with the prosecco we were served this Crostini con Salsa Verde to whet our appetites and get us in the mood for food.
Our class was taught by Chefs Sam De Los Santos and Donna MacDonald-Rizzo, both very experienced. This would be an immersive hands-on class, beginning with each of us having our own bowl to mix and make our own pasta. I had never done this, believe it or not, and the kneading was quite the workout but also a great thing to learn in the hands of experts.
Things were kept moving right along. Next we had to fill and cut our own pasta. We made Ravioletto and Agnolotti.
Chefs provided all of the tips and tricks we needed and assisted us with careful eyes with suggestions.
Once complete, our Ravioletto were packaged up so that we could bring them home to share and the Agnolotti were cooked up. Then, we washed up and sat down to enjoy freshly-prepared plates.
The pasta was delicious, helped along with a heavy dusting of shaved truffles. Additional wines were served from the Piedmont (Oddero Collaretto 2013 and Borgogno Barbera 2014) and Lombardy (Rosso di Valtellina 2013) regions. It was great to learn about the wines and traditions from people who had actually lived and worked in the area.
A Chef-prepared version of the Ravioletta was then served in an incredibly flavorful, rich stock that had been cooking for over six hours.
And there was not an empty bowl or plate in sight!
We were also provided with a full packet of information on the wines and sheets with the ingredients and recipes to make everything at home. Every student also receives a 10% discount on any shopping at Eataly that day, which came in very handy.
At about $100 per person the value of the class was well worth it considering all that you get and especially the expert techniques one will use in the home kitchen forever and the discount on all the exclusive, high-quality ingredients they carry. The cost of the truffles and wine alone made it worth it! First class all the way.
One word of advice would be plan ahead. I had been looking for a class since November and this was the first one that had an opening. They fill up very quickly, especially on the weekend dates. If this one seems a bit pricey there are many others to choose from in lower price ranges but I'd recommend this as a splurge. Many of the students received the class as a gift from a partner or family member. If you have any interest in quality Italian cooking it is a delicious, informative and very fun way to spend the day.
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
This class was provided as a sample by Eataly with no promise of editorial coverage positive or otherwise. All views expressed are our own.