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Making something new...Pasta!

Discovering the popularity of pasta in cooking classes was eye-opening for me, given my Lithuanian background and my husband's German roots. Pasta had never been a focal point in my home cooking repertoire. However, being inclined to cater to people's preferences, we invested in a pasta-making attachment for my Kitchen Aid.

After watching several videos and poring over numerous recipes, I began making pasta at home. What a revelation! It's surprisingly quick and easy, cooks faster than dried pasta, and boasts an unmatched flavor!

Starting with a simple spaghetti recipe, I experimented. The leftover meat filling and chimichurri sauce from an empanadas class inspired an impromptu creation. Tossing boiled spaghetti into a mixture of heated meat, thinned with chimichurri, and olive oil resulted in a delightful meal.

The following evening, with more leftovers from the empanada class, I ventured into making ravioli, using the mushroom filling. Accompanied by a light cream sherry sauce with fresh mushrooms, it was another revelation.

Our next culinary endeavor was lasagna. Preferring a meat sauce with depth of flavor over marinara sauce, I used my "hide the veggies" technique, incorporating pureed carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms. This adds rich complexity of flavor to the meat sauce. I then made the pasta dough, letting it rest while I made the cheese mixture. Once done, I rolled and cut the dough to the 9x13 pan size and set it aside while water boiled. As I boiled the pasta, I started assembling the lasagna. It was so easy! Then, into the oven and we waited.

We invited our son, Josh, for dinner. Now Josh is an avowed non-pasta lover. If he goes to an Italian restaurant, he will order pizza or a non-pasta entree. He walked in and saw the lasagna and said "really?" We said, try it! And he did. Then he had seconds. Then he took home leftovers! What was the difference? The light, flavorful homemade pasta and the nuanced sauce won him over.

Now a fervent advocate for homemade pasta, I can attest that the process takes a maximum of 30 minutes from start to finish, leaving room for creativity in the kitchen.

Join me in a pasta-making class and you can do it too! I can attest, all you need is some counter space, a fork, a rolling pin, and a knife – no Kitchen Aid required (though there is a bit more clean-up!).

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