Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Parma, Surry Hills - pizza and pasta making class

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!

To start things up, the vibrant Chef Alessandro (who loves the Naruto anime like me and is originally from Lombardy, Italy) took us through what the course will consist of. Recipes, aprons and hand towels were handed to each of us thereafter.  He went through the recipes for making excellent quality pasta and pizza dough step by step. He went as far as getting into the core of each process and he also gave us tips.

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.
 Margherita pizza
 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.
Polenta cake 
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

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Thursday
Lunch: 12pm - 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10pm

Friday - Saturday
Lunch: 12pm - 3:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 11pm

12pm - 9pm

Parma  on Urbanspoon


  1. I've litereally *just* bought a pata maker on line. Alessandro made it look so easy...so watch this space, I'm gonna make my own pasta (with that burnt butter sauce, man that was GOOD stuff)!

  2. What a fun looking class! Haha the chef was a Naruto fan..Man how good is burnt sage butter sauce AMAAZZINGG. I love learning how to make restaurant dishes at home as well - always get a kick out of it! Pretty cool that Parma makes all their dishes from scratch, props to them!

  3. That's so cool, I want a pasta maker myself!!! I always watch how Jamie Oliver make pasta and I'm always mesmerised!

  4. Ooo I didn't know they did cooking classes!
    The last time I went to Parma, I wasn't that impressed by their pasta but hopefully they've improved a lot since when I went, they had only just opened.

  5. I think it's time you cook up a storm for me :)

  6. You are outstanding in making different delicious dishes. I like the best pizza in Melbourne you made with your great experience.


Let me know what ya think, aight! Would love to hear from ya.