I know… Newport Cooks: The most important ingredient in the kitchen is laughter

Cooking is something that I never thought I would enjoy. I never really liked real food… I liked junk food. However, once I started to eat real food (read about it in food for thought), I appreciated the art of enjoying what you cook. I appreciated the knowledge of the ingredients going into your body, and the science of how the ingredients worked to manipulate your taste buds. 
For my birthday, my darling mother got me cooking classes. I’ve taken a few before and I love them!!  As a surprise (okay, more convenience), Mikaela flew home to join me for the class. Follow my picture diary below of our “Ravioli, Pesto, and Oh So Easy Red Sauce” at Newport Cooks . 
 The description of the class was…
In this hands-on class we’ll learn to make homemade pasta – the old fashioned way, with an Atlas pasta machine, semolina flour, eggs and oil. It’s great fun and hugely rewarding to make fresh pasta. We’ll experiment with fettuccini and hand cut raviolis and whip up some creative fillings for the ravioli and an oh, so easy red sauce you’ll make again and again. If you’ve never tried homemade pasta you’re in for a treat – it’s hearty & absolutely delicious! We’ll try everything we make and you’ll leave with new recipes and inspiration to make creative homemade pasta on your own and perhaps even host a Pasta Party for friends. We’ll taste wines chosen by Newport Wine Cellar to compliment the menu.”
My experience with  Newport Cooks  was unbelievable. For $60, I learned how to make my own pasta dough, filling, pesto, sauce, and how do successfully do a wine pairing. The class size was small and intimate, allowing time and experience for all steps in the process. The instructor, Mary, is extremely enjoyable and friendly, and has a very smart business mind for this company. She taught us many things about friends, life, wine, business, and learning. She may have been flighty/ditzy at times, but it made the experience all that more fun and relaxed. You truly felt like you were at a dinner party with your friends.
To start off, we first made our dough. We made three different types of dough so that we can understand the effect of different flours. We used semolina , King Arthur flour, and normal flour. King Arthur is what all bakers swear by (they used it in my bread making class a well). 
 
Recipe for dough:
 
 
 Owner Mary Weaver Making Dough IMG_1874  
We then began our wine tasting, all with wines picked from Newport Wine Celler. Mikaela and I loved the wines that we tried.
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Up next was the filling for the raviolis. We made two types of filling… a mushroom cheese filing, and a pesto filling. I had never really tried pesto before, and making it was probably my favorite part of this class. It was eye-opening to how easy, and delicious it was. Both fillings came out unbelievable, and I now make my own of the cheese one, just without the mushrooms.
 
Recipe for Filling:
 
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Now for the fun part…. rolling out the pasta! After letting the dough sit for an hour in the fridge- you simply run it through the pasta machine to flatten it. You then can press it into different shapes, put the filling in, and viola- you have ravioli! 
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Once showing us how to use the machine, we were taught how to use it, as well as how to use a rolling pin to create the raviolis. This was very important, considering I don’t have my own pasta maker!

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While we worked on the pasta, another group of students worked on perfecting the red sauce. When everything came together… this was our final masterpiece! It tastes just as good as it looks.

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After having homemade pasta, filling, and sauce, nothing tasted as good afterwards. The little bit of effort it takes to make the dish is well worth the appetizing aftereffect.

I thus tried it at home.. without a pasta cutter, teacher, or ravioli press.
They definitely did not turn out as visual aesthetically as they did in the class, but the flavor was still the same!!

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