I love to eat. Trying local food and drink is one of my favourite things to do while I’m travelling, and a great way to do that is to take a cooking class. On a recent trip to Italy, I found a pasta making class in Milan which sounded perfect. In the home of a friendly local cook, I could learn how to make pasta and one of my all-time favourite desserts – tiramisu. What more could you ask for? I signed up to a pasta making cooking class in Milan on Airbnb Experiences, and here you can see how I got on.
What Are Airbnb Experiences?
You’ve probably heard of Airbnb as an alternative to booking hotels. A large part of the Airbnb business is about booking accommodation in local people’s homes so you can feel more like you’re living as a resident instead of a tourist. Well, you can also book Airbnb experiences, where local people offer personalised tours and other unique experiences like cooking classes. I’ve done a couple of Airbnb experiences before, like this gin making class in Barcelona, and when I read the reviews for Pietro’s pasta cooking class in Milan I just had to sign up! Take a look here at the details.
If you have never used Airbnb before, you can get a discount on your first experience or accommodation booking by using this discount code. With the code, you can get up to $40 off a home booking of $71 or more and $12 off an experience of $47 or more. (I’ll also get some referral credit to use on my next booking too, so everyone is a winner!)
Pietro’s Pasta Making Class in Milan
Pietro’s cooking class sounded like so much fun, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! I love taking cooking classes as a way to meet people while travelling alone, and it certainly beats eating in a restaurant on my own! The day before the class, Pietro sent a message reminding us how to get to his house, and as soon as I arrived, I felt at home. On the day of my class, there was a couple from Germany and two friends from Iran who joined me and our chef Pietro to learn how to make pasta and the all-important tiramisu. Pietro is fun and friendly, and speaks fluent English, some German and even a few words of Persian!
We all washed our hands and chose aprons from the box Pietro offered us (mine had pandas on it) and got to work. The first job was the tiramisu so it could chill in the fridge while we were making the pasta. I’d made my version of tiramisu before, but it was nowhere near as good as this one! Pietro explained that everyone in Italy makes tiramisu in a slightly different way, but he follows his mother’s recipe which includes a cheeky drizzle of melted chocolate in between the layers of mascarpone cream and the lady’s fingers biscuits.
Explaining the recipe step by step and getting us all to work together to prepare the ingredients – separating the eggs, whipping the eggs and mascarpone, melting the chocolate and pouring the coffee, we were ready to assemble our own personal tiramisu. We each had a small pot to carefully layer the ingredients, topping it all off with some grated chocolate. I couldn’t wait to try it, but into the fridge they went, and we turned our attention to the pasta making.
Learning to Make Pasta in Milan
I had never made pasta before. I had no idea where to start, but it turns out it really isn’t that difficult to make – the hardest part is rolling out the pasta which is much easier if you have a pasta maker which quickly and easily rolls out the dough to the required thickness.
We made two types of pasta in the pasta making class – ravioli and orecchiette – which are actually made from two different kinds of dough. I adore filled pasta but thought they are fairly complicated to make. In fact, it isn’t that complicated, but it is made easier with a pasta maker to roll the dough. I was also surprised to find that absolutely no specialist equipment at all is needed to make orecchiette, so I am looking forward to making it again at home sometime soon!
Pietro showed us how to make the dough, kneading it and prepare it for the pasta. At this point his mum arrived to help with the class, she often comes to take part in the classes too which makes it even more like a proper Italian family experience. She had already prepared the filling for the ravioli, a leek and ricotta mixture which was ready in piping bags to fill our ravioli. But first, we had to roll out the ravioli dough with the pasta maker to get a thin dough which we could cut out into circles to make the ravioli.
Once we had our circles ready, a squeeze of the leek and ricotta filling went into the middle, and we carefully folded over the circle to create our ravioli. We then lay them out on trays ready to be cooked while we made the orecchiette.
These were much simpler to make, but still a challenge to make the shapes properly. We rolled our dough into a long thin sausage and cut it into cylinders about 1cm long. Attempting to follow Pietro’s demonstration, I used my thumb to squash and roll each cylinder into the orecchiette shape – like a small ear, which is what orecchiette means! Some shapes were definitely less ear-like than others, but overall, I was impressed with my efforts!
Before we cooked all our pasta, Pietro showed us how to make a few other types of pasta like the farfalle bow-ties, tagliatelle, and a kind of fat spaghetti using a pasta slicer he has.
Enjoying our Homemade Pasta
We set the table, and Pietro boiled some water to cook our creations. We started with the ravioli, which he served simply with melted butter and finely grated Gran Padano cheese. Wow. It was incredible, such a simple yet delicious dish that we had hand-made just minutes before.
Then we cooked the orecchiette, which was served with a tomato sauce that Pietro had prepared before we arrived. Topped with a different grated cheese, that was delicious too! In the end I wasn’t sure which I preferred, as they were both so good.
Luckily, I had left a bit of space in my stomach for the dessert. There is always room for tiramisu! And of course, it was one of the best tiramisus I had ever tasted. I will definitely be making that again!!
As we ate, we chatted about pasta, food, our countries and our mutual enjoyment of the class. We also had some sparkling wine to help wash down the meal, and a coffee afterwards for those who drink it. I felt like I was among friends, comfortable, happy and nicely full. What a day!!
You Have to Take This Cooking Class in Milan!!
If you are looking for a one-day cooking class in Milan in English, I really can’t recommend Pietro’s pasta making class highly enough. The food was amazing, the company and host were friendly and fun, and I loved every second. Now I just have to make it again at home!
What do you think, would you take this cooking class in Milan? If you would like to book your place on a class, you can book on Airbnb experiences here. If you can’t make it to Milan in person, Pietro also offers online pasta making classes, which you can book here.
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