As one of the most ubiquitous of dietary staples, pasta is found in almost every kitchen and every home today. That humble bowl of spaghetti with meatballs or that unassuming piece of lasagne belies the true latent possibilities of the ingredient, though. This month, the culinary team at Lafayette Gourmet is on a mission to educate visitors on the true potential of pasta, with an 11-day promotion titled “Perfect Your Pasta”.
“The team at Lafayette are passionate about teaching you something new and showing you how you can perfect your skills in the kitchen,” says Russell Impiazzi, the culinary director of Lafayette Gourmet. “The purpose of this event is to showcase the diversity of pasta and teach customers how to make their own delicious fresh pasta.”
Visitors to the Galeries during the promotion will be able to see the Lafayette Gourmet chefs showcasing their pasta-making and cooking skills. They will be glad to answer any questions the visitors might have. Also part of the promotion are two cooking classes where budding chefs can get hands-on instruction right from kneading the perfect dough to creating a stunning pasta sauce. In keeping with the theme, new pasta dishes created especially for the occasion will be added to the menu.
It’s all about pasta
“Everyone loves pasta and making your own fresh pasta isn’t such a common practice. But the satisfaction that goes along with the fact that you have taken the time and care to prepare it yourself is amazing!” says Impiazzi. He lists the importance of the two key ingredients that shape a good pasta: fresh, free-range eggs and good flour.
“I like to use a fine semolina flour,” he reveals. “I think it just adds a nice texture to the pasta. And salt – you can always taste when there is not enough salt in the water when you boil it.”
All of these little tips and tricks, and more, will be shared by Impiazzi and his two fellow chefs, Geronimo Flores and Said Farhane, during the course of the two one-day workshops.
Who should attend
“Anyone who has the slightest interest in the basics but perhaps not the confidence, will benefit,” says Impiazzi. “We will be starting with the very basics and adding a few extra tips for those who have a bit more confidence.”
He stresses that pasta-making is a simple process and he wants to ensure that this comes across.
“Once we have mastered the basic dough, I will show a couple of ways to make vegetable-based doughs – carrot and fennel seed and spinach and basil. Plus a couple of really easy sauces.” Since the idea is to have some fun while cooking and to show that cooking at home does not have to expensive or overly complicated, the course is designed to suit all skill levels. Special dietary constraints have also been taken into account, and the agenda includes whole-wheat and gluten-free dishes.
What to expect?
Workshop attendees can expect to “get their hands dirty”, says -Impiazzi.
“We will be making all the pasta by hand. I want it to be as interactive as possible and to get across just how simple cooking at home can be. Pasta is a great starting point. It’s a relatively simple recipe to follow, it does not have to be overly complicated and once you understand the basics, you can get as creative as you like.
“We have done a few classes before, from sushi to kids’ pasta classes to corporate cooking demos. It’s always a lot of fun, especially when you have a few guests who perhaps struggle in the kitchen, but once you explain and show the process, they get it and hopefully inspire them to carry on cooking.”
One last piece of advice from Impiazzi: don’t reach for the home delivery menu; try to cook at home.
Date: Tuesday until Saturday, August 31
Time 10am to 10pm
Pasta cooking classes
Monday, August 26 from 10.30am to 12pm
Wednesday, August 28 from 7.30pm to 9pm
Price Dh145 per person
For more information, visit Lafayette Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette – The Dubai Mall, 2nd floor, or call 04 339 9933
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