A Foodie Weekend Part 1: Pasta and Sauces Class at Whole Foods

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Pastas and Sauces Menu
Pastas and Sauces Menu

Before we got started with the class we had a few refreshments waiting for us… after all we had to cook everything before we could eat, and pasta takes awhile to create!

Antipasto and bread (not pictured)
Antipasto and bread (not pictured)

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The first station we visited during our culinary journey was the pasta station. Here we learned to roll out pasta, use a pasta machine (and the 7 settings,) and create both angel hair and fettuccini pasta.

Puttanesca Sauce
Puttanesca Sauce

Next we dusted off our floury hands and moved onto the next station where our other classmates had created the Puttanesca sauce, and where we would create the Wild Mushroom Sauce.

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Wild Mushroom Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium leek, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add chopped leek. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Stir until sauce is slightly thickened. Add cream and heat through.

From the sauces we headed onto the ravioli station where our fellow classmates were hard at work finishing their part of the ravioli making, aka. slicing them up to be crimped.

Slicing up the ravioli
Slicing up the ravioli

We had some truly talented guys in our class, they were first to jump at slicing up the herbs, and weren’t afraid to get their hands ‘dirty’ no matter what the task.

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

  • 1 lb pasta sheets
  • 1 lb of pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 Amaretti Cookies
  • 1/2 beaten egg (save the remainder for your egg wash)
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

For Brown Butter Sage Sauce

  • 10 tbsp. butter
  • 12 whole safe leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 4 leaves sage, chiffonade

Make filling: if using fresh pumpkin or other winter squash, peel the pumpkin/squash and cut into large chunks, dot with butter. Put in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees until tender and slightly browned around edges. Lift the squash out of the pan, leaving any liquid behind. Mash the squash with a potato masher.

Put the butter in a large skillet and melt. Add the pumpkin puree (or mashed squash) and cook it down until it has the consistency of mashed potato. Let the squash cool. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano, the crushed amaretti and egg. Salt to taste. Chill again.

Make sauce: melt butter over medium heat in medium saute pan. When foam subsides and the color is gold (and not yet brown) add sage leaves and cook for 1 minute, turning over the sage leaves once. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour contents of the pan over cooked, drained ravioli. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano and additional leaves, if desired.

Semolina Gnocchi
Semolina Gnocchi

Next it was time to cook the pasta we’d prepared…

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Fettuccini with Prosciutto, Cream and Nutmeg
Fettuccini with Prosciutto, Cream and Nutmeg
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce


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