Nov
08

iTrulli Pasta Class with Chef Patti Jackson

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Last Saturday my wife and I attended a pasta making and cooking class at iTrulia. This NY Times two star restaurant  is the epitome of a neighborhood restaurant serving Italian food from Apulia (which forms the heel of Italy’s boot) using the finest ingredients found locally and imported from Italy.

Located on a side street (122 East 27th Street between Lex & Park) i Trulli’s hands-on Chef Patti Jackson creates homecooked meals with virtually everything produced on site. The owner’s mother, Dara Maravilla, makes nearly all the pasta and can be seen doing so daily from 11am through about 4pm.

Unfortunately, Dara was not feeling well on Saturday, so it was up to Patti to cook and entertain the 15 or so “students” that attended the hands-on pasta class and lunch.

Each dish was prepared by Chef Patti with the assistance of apron wearing students. Interestingly, lessons learned were much less about exact measurements of the ingredients as it was about the look and feel of the various doughs and the color and consistency of the sauces. After each dish was prepared by Patti/group, we had it as lunch course served from the “real” kitchen. 

The first course was a Cavatelli (little shells) with broccoli rabe and almonds. We all had the chance to feel the consistency of this ultra simple dough ( ratio of 2 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup very hot water) as well as try our hands at making the shape.

Next we worked with whole wheat flour to create whole wheat tonnarelli (pasta similar to spaghetti) with fonduta (rich creamy cheese sauce) and walnuts.

Then we created butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce. Amazing!

Finally, we ended this lunch feast with strudel di mele for desert. Throughout the demonstration Patti would return to the strudel dough and continue to stretch it. Over time it was transformed to a paper thin dough,  four feet by 2 feet, encasing the apple and cinnamon and sugar filling.

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