I attended yet another cooking class at the LivingSocial headquarters in D.C.  This time, the class was all about making pasta from scratch, as taught by Chef Kyle Bailey of D.C.'s popular Birch & Barley restaurant on 14th Street NW.

We learned an amazingly simple recipe that could be used both for tagliatelle (a fat linguini) and tortellini.  Then we made a more dense, dumpling or gnocchi-like recipe using ricotta cheese to create cavatelli, or striped small pasta shells.

Basic Pasta Recipe:
1 cup 00 flour
1 1/2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt

Pour most of the flour into the mixer with the dough hook attachment, add more later if the dough needs it.  Add salt and mix into flour, then add the eggs.  Use the dough hook to mix together, scraping the sides and adding flour as needed.

Taking the dough from the mixer, kneed dough ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let sit for approximately 45 minutes at room temperature.  Using a pasta rolling device, pass the dough through at the #1 setting once.  Fold ends in to create a rectangle and roll through two more times.  Proceed to roll the dough twice at each setting through #5.  Cut in half if the length of the pasta dough becomes too long to handle.  Cut 1/2" strips from the dough for the tagliatelle.  Cut circles for the tortellini, pipe a small amount of filling off center, fold the circle in half and press ends together.  Gently fold the half circle ends towards each other to make the tortellini shape.

Cavatelli Recipe:
8 oz. ricotta
1 1/2 eggs
1/2 # 00 flour
1/2 tsp salt

Combine ricotta and eggs in a separate bowl, mixing until completely combined.  Pour flour into the mixer bowl, keeping some aside like in the basic recipe.  Add salt and follow the same preparation instructions as the basic recipe.  After resting, cut part of the dough from the ball and roll into a long worm shape, less than an inch in diameter.  Cut 1" pieces off of the dough strip with a knife or pastry cutter, like you would gnocchi.  Using the back side of a fork, take each piece and roll it down the tines to get the stripe indentations and the rolled look of the pasta.

Kyle Bailey made us some great sauces to add to our pastas:  tomato and italian sausage to go with the cavatelli, brined chicken and carrots for the tagliatelle, and buttered peas for the tortellini (which were stuffed with a mint infused ricotta cheese mixture).  Yummy night!  And the best thing about everything we learned is that this pasta recipe freezes really well, so I think I see a pasta dinner party in my near future!