In the culinary world, there a lot of things that delights me. One of them is discovering how I can easily replicate a restaurant quality dish in the comfort of my own kitchen. At a recent pizza/pasta making class in Parma, they made what seemed so hard, evidently easy. As pizza and pasta our two of my favourites, I was in my zone!
Parma is located right on the corner of Campbell and Crown Streets, Surry Hills. This new 120 seat Italian restaurant features hip and stylish décor. I particularly like the walls on the second floor that boasts awesome contemporary artwork. The friendly staff, cooks and chef adds up to the coolness factor of this joint.
|Oh yeah, that's me workin' it!|
For example, he said to never add salt when making pizza dough starter (yeast and warm water mixture). The salt actually kills the yeast therefore, the pizza dough won't become elastic at the end. It is added after mixing both wet and dry ingredients. The kneading process starts by pushing and breaking the dough with the heel of your palm and quickly pulling the dough back. This is done continuously around five to ten minutes to build up gluten and to make the dough elastic.
We also made different kinds of pasta. We were asked to feel the pasta and observe how thin it should be. How thick or thin a sheet of pasta dough should depend on what type of pasta you want to make. My favourite part of the class was making ravioli from scratch! Chef Alessandro also demonstrated how to make a ricotta based filling for the ravioli. It all looked so easy.
While the pizza was being cooked in the over, he showed us a few pasta sauces we could make to prepare the pastas with.
After all of that, the fruits of our labour were served for us to feast on! My taste buds particularly loved the ricotta ravioli with burnt sage butter and Margherita pizza.
|ricotta ravioli with burnt sage butter|
The pasta on the ravioli was cooked al dente and the filling was flavourful. The caramelised flavour from the burnt sage butter was sensational. He took the burnt sage butter to another level by adding capers and anchovies.
The Margherita pizza was very simple yet full of flavour from the cheese, tomato, oregano and basil. The herbs brought the best out of the fresh buffalina mozzarella.
Chef Alessandro takes traditional pizza/pasta cooking and gives it his own contemporary twist without making the dishes too complicated. He explained everything as simple as possible. He equipped us with enough knowledge so that we could also possibly become our own Parma cooks at home. At Parma, it’s not about putting a lot of ingredients just to create a good dish. It is to put together minimal fresh ingredients that blend well for an excellent dish with maximum taste. Everything in Parma is made from scratch!
Ramen Raff was invited by Helen Lear to participate in the pizza/pasta making class at Parma as a guest.
285A Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
(02) 9332 4974
Tuesday - Thursday
Lunch: 12pm - 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10pm
Friday - Saturday
Lunch: 12pm - 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 11pm
12pm - 9pm