This blog post is a bit of a departure for me. Instead of writing about a specific recipe or skill, I'm going to share my fun and rewarding experience about giving back to my community.
Every year there's a fundraiser at my kids' elementary school, and every year I donate my time and host a cooking class. It's a win-win situation because not only do I get to spread The Chopping Block's mission by teaching people how to cook, but I’m also able to help raise money for their school.
This was my third year in a row hosting a cooking party, and it's a great way for me to meet and network with other moms in our community. My children are 4 years apart, and that means I will be the mom of an elementary-school child for 9 years, so creating long-lasting friendships and connections with other parents in our neighborhood is really important to me.
I have complete freedom in creating the menu for the class, which is a lot of fun for me because there are endless possibilities. The first year was a tapas party. The second year I hosted a sushi-making class, which was awesome! This year, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to teach the ladies how to make and roll out fresh pasta dough.
After a short demo on how to make pasta dough, the ladies got right to work on rolling it out into thin sheets. They cut the sheets of pasta into beautiful strands of fettuccine, which were then tossed with a sauce made from cream, lemons, artichokes, bacon and chives.
Here's a snippet of a tip for you: cream-based sauces can get pretty thick, causing your noodles to get gloppy. If that happens, add a ladleful of the hot pasta cooking water to your sauce, and watch the transformation take place right before your eyes.
We also made homemade ravioli filled with ricotta cheese, which was then tossed with homemade pesto.
Both pasta dishes were delicious, but the ravioli was my favorite. I'm a sucker for homemade pesto.
Making your own pasta from scratch is much easier and more enjoyable than many people realize, and it is definitely something that makes spreading the love with something delicious a task that every home cook can learn to accomplish. If you want to get your hands on some fresh pasta, then you should definitely join us for The Chopping Block's Pasta Workshop class.