I love a bargain. My Uncle’s famous saying ‘Never pay full retail’ must be ingrained in me. Over time I seem to have unknowingly subscribed to a number of discount e-newsletters. Some would call this junk (and they’d be right as most of the time they are) but if you keep your eye out, you may occasionally find something of interest. Thankfully all the vouchers invading my inbox proved worthwhile when I found an ‘Italian Feast’ cooking class at Alio in Surry Hills.
During the 3 hour class (for the bargain price of $49) we were taught how to make fresh pasta, ricotta ravioli, a big pot of stock and a risotto along with sides of freshly baked focaccia, marinated olives and a witlof, pear and persian feta salad.
Our group was close to 30 and with the kitchen up front and seating close by, the class was a demonstration rather than being hands on, which may not be your expected or preferred learning method. Each style has its pros and cons and usually I learn best by ‘doing’ but I did find this class handy for writing lots of notes and taking photos (spot the food blogger!).
When all the beautiful food was ready came the best part – we all sat down together to enjoy the ‘Italian Feast’ which included individual tiramasus for dessert. What a fantastic way to spend a Friday night!
A week later I made Alio’s simple tomato sauce, which I had with Frattelli’s eggplant ravioli (ok so I didn’t make my own pasta but I WILL get around to that one day). The sauce is really easy and packed full of flavour so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
600g tinned tomatoes chopped
1 garlic clove
1 dried chilli, optional
1 bunch basil, picked and chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt, pepper, sugar
- Add oil to a heated pan.
- Add crushed garlic, careful not to burn.
- Add tinned tomatoes, chilli and bay leaf.
- Cook on a gentle heat for 30mins.
- Add salt, pepper, and sugar if needed. Add a little at a time, tasting in between.
- Stir through the basil.
- Toss the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with your favourite cheese.