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Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Karen set me a challenge! A gluten-free pasta-making party. It wasn’t until I started researching my recipes that I realised just how difficult it is to avoid gluten if you really can’t tolerate it in your diet. So the challenge was set. I practiced with a few different flours, Xantham gum (the essential ingredient) and the quantity of eggs.

There were six of us in total, and I demonstrated how to make the pasta, experimented with some different fillings, shapes and sauces. Once you’ve grasped the basics of how to make the pasta dough, that is really when the fun begins.

I demonstrated a recipe that I had tasted in a lovely little restaurant, in Sansepolcro which I thought was just heavenly, and a true reward for mastering the technique of pasta-making.

Flavour, flavour, flavour is the trick with Italian cookery, which on the face of it, always looks quite simple, but my word it bangs a punch when it comes to flavour.

I recreated the dish for one of my Big Friendly Dos. Ravioli with ricotta, parmesan and LOTS of basil, served with a pasta sauce, baked red onion, crispy prosciutto and the magic ingredient? Toasted hazelnuts! Fantastico!

I became fascinated in making pasta when staying in Italy and watching our host, Narella, make pasta from scratch. I’d never witnessed pasta being made on this scale before and so my masterclass began.

Karen’s party was great fun. We experimented with fillings of ricotta, basil, parmesan, Salsiccia sausage and shredded beef. I brought along some sauces so that every one could experiment with flavour combinations they liked. The sauces included, basil and creme fraiche, a classic tomato and garlic and red pepper arrabiata! And, everyone left with recipe ideas to try at home.

These parties make for a really fun evening with the girls. Something different to do, learn a skill and sit down together to eat some deli a master at workshops and she taught me a few tips about running a workshop. I really hope to be attending one of Karen’s jewellery making days in the Spring. 

Thank you, Karen, for a lovely evening with friends!

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