The first From Scratch event, held on the night 28th of September at the Simba Corp Aspire Centre, was, according to Uva wines’ founder and CEO Alyana Popat, a new take on a classic concept. “We wanted do something different from the old concept of wine tastings with cheese. So why not have an experience, teach people how to taste wine and make pasta!”
The night began with a light crisp blue wine, Casal Mandes Blue from Bacalhôa Wines in Portugal, whose wines were the stars of the event. The winery’s export manager, Bruno Sousa, who served as sommelier for the evening, was passionate and knowledgeable. As the guests, as the ‘students’ enjoyed the airy notes of the blue wine, the evening’s teacher, an accomplished chef, began the class.
On each table there was a measured helping of flour, six eggs, some salt and black pepper, a rolling pin and a whisk. We began by making a light dough, sprinkling the seasoning into our dough for flavour. Of course, each table thought their dough was the best looking, a spirit of friendly competition adding to a great atmosphere of camaraderie. After this process, the dough was wrapped in cling film and left to set for half an hour, all eyes were back on Bruno as he took us through a collection of wines.
First, a fruity Rosé with a rose aroma and wild fruit aftertaste that is ideally paired with appetizers, then a White with the slight tang of citrus fruits and goes perfectly with a salad. After this there was a dark Red with tones of fruits of the forest that matched well heavier fare like meat and cod dishes. Capping off the wine tasting was a fortified moscatel wine from the Setubal region of Portugal, a with an intense, sweet raisin aroma and a tea and citron taste that was an excellent night cap.
Back to the pasta. As the dough had set, we now had what was the most challenging part of the evening, rolling the dough into flat, thin strips about ten centimeters wide. The patient chef, a master of his craft and a patient teacher, guided the class through this tricky phase. Too thick and the pasta wouldn’t cook properly, too thin and it would break up on cooking. A few mishaps here and there but on the whole, a success.
Our instructor had pre-made some fillings for the ravioli we would be making, with three options- sundried tomato with mozzarella, balsamic onion with goats cheese, and red pepper with coriander smoked cheese. Sumptuous enough that most of us were gleefully snatching the odd bite of each as we rolled and cut our pasta. Fill them in with any combination of the three and wrap them up, slightly watering the edges then pressing them down with a fork to ensure they held up under boiling. A few minutes later and we had the ravioli with a scrumptious sauce made using tomatoes roasted slowly for 12 hours.
Delicious food made (for the most part) ourselves, good wine and great company. Alyana hopes to have such events once a month. On this showing, she should look forward to having a full house every time.