Dinner + Pasta Making at Massimo, London

Posts about special classes are always so much fun to do, but they’re by far the most difficult to capture, which is why I usually end up with 39411585421 pictures afterwards (yep, you already know this is going to be a hell of a post!). Things would be so much easier if I filmed and vlogged it, but my face just wasn’t made for TV (anyone who caught me on Cook’s Questions would know) and I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. So, long blog posts it is! Sit tight, you lucky thing.

I’d never been to the Corinthia hotel in London before, but damn is it beautiful! I was heading to Massimo restaurant for a pasta masterclass by their fantastic chef, followed by what promised to be a gorgeous dinner. My mouth was wide open as I walked through the hotel and restaurant, all the way to their private dining room to find a beautifully laid out table and small kitchen waiting for me.

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Is it rude to eat the breadsticks before anyone else arrives?

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Look at the food, all ready for us to go!

As I said earlier, and as you probably guessed anyway from all the pictures I took of the room, I was the first to arrive. Actually, I kept taking pictures even when people started arriving. I did the usual small talk, but when people actually know each other there and go into proper conversation, my escape from awkwardness was pretending I really needed that great shot of the pasta display. I needed a drink. And at least Boy was coming to join me soon.

The snacks were also a good distraction.

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I had to get a couple of the people to try the little balls so I knew which had meat in them and which didn’t. Great talking point, eh? I’m a whiz at conversation.

At least I had a drink in my hand to sip.

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I knew things were happening soon when the bread arrived at the table. Can I eat them before we sit down? No, no I can’t. Greedy girl problems right here.

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I did take a peak at the menu, though. Everything sounded so good, I was jumping up and down. Oh, and the fact that half the dishes were veggie. Self hi-five.

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We popped our aprons on and the show was on the road. Boy had phoned me and said things were hectic at work, so he’d be late. I guess I’ll just have to be the pasta genius of the household.

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As we were sorting ourselves out, I watched the chefs make some fresh pesto. Oh my lorddddd.

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I wanted to dip my fingers into it, but I think that’s considered socially unacceptable.

Head Chef Andrea Cirino got things underway.

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After telling us a bit more about pasta-making, it was our turn to make the dough.

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Maybe I should ditch blogging and become a pasta chef. I thought I wasn’t too bad. He congratulated my dough and asked for my name, and remembered “Bianca” throughout the class because it’s Italian. I then made my classic joke of my parents naming me that because my skin was like chalk when I was born (it means white in Italian), which got laughs from the Italian bloggers. Great gag. Maybe I should do comedy instead.

Anyway, back to the class. The pasta machine was whipped out, and it blew my mind.

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Surely no further explanation is required. Did we just make spaghetti? I think so!

After that, we watched ravioli being made.

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LOOK AT ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PASTA!

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Holy moly.

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Now, for the sauces.

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Hello, fresh tomatoes.

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While he had the sauces going on, it was time for the pasta to be cooked.

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I think I need one of those in my house, no joke. That’s when I know I’ve made it.

And check how those tomatoes came along. I WANT.

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Then, it was time to stir it in. I was picked out since he remembered my name, and it was my job to handle the pot and stir the pasta. This was the duty I was made for. All the bloggers were photographing the process, and never have I been such a star. I hope they edit out any double-chins (pasta stirring does all kinds of things to your concentrating face). If only Boy could see me now.

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So, I basically cooked this dish, right? Right. You’re welcome, everyone.

Andrea stunningly twirled the pasta onto each dish. I need to learn how to do this.

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Swoon.

And there it was. The Pappardelle con Pomodori ciliegini Siciliani. In other words, Homemade Pappardelle with Cherry Tomato from Sicily.

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Out of all the pastas, this was my favourite (and most of the others!). We kept welcoming seconds, and thirds.

Amongst the array of pasta was the Tagliatelle con Agnello in Salsa Bolognese (Homemade Tagliatelle with Lamb Bolognese Sauce).

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I couldn’t eat this, but I heard it was delicious.

However, I did tuck into the Spaghetti al Pesto – Homemade Spaghetti with Pesto Sauce. This, together with the first pasta, proves that simplicity really is the best when done well.

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Finally, the Ravioli di Ricotta e Limone con Capesante – Pasta parcels filled with Ricotta cheese and Lemon, Scallops.

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Initially I read everything but the comma and scallops, so I was sad when I couldn’t have some of this. Oh well, more of the other two to compensate!

You couldn’t have seen a happier group of people with wine and pasta in front of them, as well as great conversation (I had made friends by now, must have been my impressive pasta skills).

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Or maybe I had drunk a fun amount.

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Then I spotted this.

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Boy’s seat. Seriously? I must have looked like such a loser. The whole night I said he was on his way, and I definitely looked like some crazy woman who has a fake boyfriend and has convinced themselves that they are nearly there.

There’s nothing to cheer you up like a tour of the kitchen. Andrea showed us around, and I think he liked me at this point (again, my super pasta stirring skills probably did it), and he pulled out all the stops for us. A little truffle treat, as well as gathering all the chefs together for a group picture – I didn’t bring my camera with me so this one is from my phone! I thought everyone else had gotten one too, but when I mentioned it, it turns out we were the lucky ones. Andrea, what a guy.

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Alas, Boy finally did arrive, but only after the pasta had gone, and the teas, coffees and treats were out. Better late than never – I don’t think anyone else thought he would! Fake boyfriend no longer.

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I knew there was pasta leftover on the table, so I quickly asked Andrea if they hadn’t thrown any out, if Boy could take some home. He said he’d take care of it, and Boy was very excited (and over-worked, and hungry). Only when I got home did I realise that he’d whipped something up fresh using similar ingredients as earlier, but in different combinations. What a champion.

Boy said it may be one of the most delicious pasta he’s had. I agreed. Thank you Andrea and the Massimo team for a wonderful evening! A great spot for a special dinner, or even to host something in the private room.

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