Posted on Wednesday, 21st March 2012
A month ago, I attended a very successful lamb butchery masterclass at The Chop House. Its neighbouring restaurant Cantina de Ponte pasta masterclasses are run on select Saturdays throughout the year with each class covering different types of pastas. I attended the class last week which touched on tagliatelle, taglioni, orecchiette and ravioli.
The class included a basic pasta demo on how to make pasta dough and how to roll the different types of pasta (and in the case of the orecchiette, how to cut and shape it). We all got a chance to try our hand at making pasta dough and some members of the class got to participate in rolling the pasta. All this was great fun, but I would have liked the class to have covered some sauces as well, after all, a good sauce is what makes a pasta dish great.
The masterclass was followed by a two course pasta lunch and a dessert. We had the tagilatelle alla norma with aubergine and mozzarella. The sauce was rich with tomato giving the dish a good flavour.
Less successful was the orecchiette with turnip tops. There was a slight bitterness to the sauce which left a metallic aftertaste. This dish was not pleasant, a consensus shared by a number of the participants in my course.
Dessert was a decent vanilla panna cotta. I would have preferred slightly more vanilla however, and there was probably a touch too much gelatine in it as its wobble was quite firm.
My sister attended one of the four hour courses at La Cucina Caldesi. She thought it was very good and that it covered a decent amount of material. But she also thought that the course was pricey, and in some respects stingy as there were loads of leftovers, none of which they let you take home.
In comparison, this session wasn’t probably as detailed, but it only costs £28 including lunch. All things considered, this masterclass was ok. There were some interesting elements to this session, but the second pasta course did the restaurant no favours.
When I left Cantina del Ponte, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much more I got out of the lamb butchery masterclass at The Chop House, and how much more food I was served to eat when I was there. That course was priced at £35, a mere £7 more.