I had a birthday recently. One of my gifts – from my youngest son – was a cooking class for two at one of Wellington’s favourite Italian cafe/delis La Bella Italia (a lot of self-interest there!). The ‘voucher’ was handcrafted and covered in his favourite motivational quotes and expressions of his thanks.
“The world is but a canvas for our imagination,” he said.
I was absolutely thrilled, even more so when reading the fine print telling me I was signed up to learn how to make spinach and ricotta ravioli. The voucher allowed for two people, and when asked who I might like to take the class with, I of course said him.
However, that was not to be – he had to go to Auckland. So he organised for me to go along with a friend of his (a girl or course!).
The day came … I was very excited at the prospect of an evening up to my elbows in flour. Seriously, I was. I was hard at work when I heard the familiar chime of my cellphone … a text. Chloe, his friend, was in hospital. Overnight she’d had to go in and was now minus an appendix – no longer in a position to make ravioli. She was gutted …. literally!!!
After a quick and unsuccessful whip around my colleagues to see if any of them were up for the challenge, my neighbour came to the rescue. We had an absolutely hilarious time with 11 other people sipping champagne, nibbling on antipasti, learning about pasta and ricotta, throwing flour and semolina over the workbench with gay abandon, kneading dough, rolling dough through the pasta wringers, lining lengths of dough with little mounds of filling, and laughing!
It was SO much fun.
At 9.00pm we went home with four dozen ravioli (uncooked) each: 2 dozen spinach and ricotta, 2 dozen pumpkin and ricotta. They looked pretty damn good and authentically hand-made…irregular sizes, irregular shapes, one of mine even had a pasta bandage covering a little hole where my dough ended up being a tad thin.
Being the good mother that I am (!), rather than succumb to a late evening sampling session, I put them in the freezer to share with my son.
Despite having been given a lovely monogrammed apron to wear while working on our masterpieces, my flour covered clothes went onto the washing pile.
Two days later, son returned.
The spinach and ricotta ravioli were duly devoured then next night. They were sensational. There’s nothing quite like good food and good company to warm the heart is there?
What a happy mother!!!