I love a pasta dish as much as the next guy but one thing I can’t conquer is that authentic Italian taste that so many Italian restaurants nail. And in Aberdeen, one of my go to stops has to be PASTA which also offers pasta making workshops which you need to get it on your to-do list.
My work colleagues and I were lucky enough to experience a workshop before lockdown landed and today’s review will give you a look in. You may be thinking “Well we’re on lockdown mate, I can’t experience this right now”, well pessimist, think again. PASTA has recently launched online pasta making workshops along with home delivery of some delicious meals too.
AD FYI: This post is not part of paid / gifted advertising partnership with PASTA. This workshop was gifted by PASTA however there was no requirement to write a blog or post on social in return for the gift.
A bit about PASTA
PASTA is based in the Aberdeen Market serving up hearty platefuls of pasta in its space right next door to AVO. All pasta is made from scratch by its talented team and offers diners a build your own dish concept to select which pasta, sauce and topping to suit any craving.
Before attending the workshop I had the perception that pasta making was an arduous task using specialised ingredients and taking hours to perfect – I couldn’t have been more wrong. Francesco (owner of PASTA) was our host for the day who took us through the detailed process giving us many insider tips along the way.
Now I’m not going to go through the process of how we made the pasta, you’ll have to book yourself on to a workshop (detailed in the next section) and experience it for yourself but what I will tell you is why you need to get booked on.
Fracesco was a fantastic host. Being from Italy himself, he filled our session with anecdotes along with nuggets of information like where all the different pasta types come from and plenty of history too. One insight that blew my mind was that pasta didn’t actually originate from Italy, it was China! It was brought to Italy by Marco Pollo, a traveler who collected items from around the world to resell and whilst in China he was introduced to a solution of water and flour which he experimented with on his return to Italy and thus pasta was born.
Our session was fueled by a lot of laughs with Francesco’s humorous look on things which created a lively, light-hearted and comfortable environment making it the perfect group activity. If your keen to attend as a party of one but maybe apprehensive to attend alone, rest assured that you’ll immediately feel at ease with setting and format with no awkward moments to be seen for miles! Just think, you’ll be in a space with like-minded people who (like you) wish to learn, create and eat great food so you already have things in common.
Fast forward through the dough making process and we had all created the perfect doughs which were then placed in the fridge to rest (ahead of taking home) while we used a pre-made dough to learn and work the rest of the process on. We created tagliatelle which was then cooked by the team with our sauce and topping of choice – we kept it classic with the carbonara.
While we anticipated the arrival of our food, we bagged a bench outside PASTA where we ordered coffees and a selection of avocado themed brownies and waffles from AVO to follow (rude not to right). Soon a hearty plateful of delicious al dente pasta with plenty of bite (just how I like it) was served coated in a rich and creamy cheese sauce and beautifully placed on the plate too might I add.
Many may think that pasta is simple and bog standard dish to order when eating out but when you order from PASTA, there’s no shop bought pasta, no sauce from a container just handcrafted ingredients with bundles of authentic flavour.
How you can experience from home
So attending a workshop during lockdown is just as easy as if you were attending out with. Simply visit the workshop web page, pick your slot between 12pm to 2pm or 5pm to 7pm on various Saturdays, process your order and the PASTA team will cover the rest. Make sure to book not later than 7pm on the Wednesday before your desired Saturday workshop, this will give the team plenty of time to get your kit to you.
Your kit will contain all the essential ingredients you need for the workshop and also in the kit are additional recipes so you can use the skills learned through the workshop to make more delicious pasta dishes at home. Simply make enough space on your kitchen counter or table to roll out the dough and have a rolling pin, kitchen knife and fork set out to use. Oh and don’t forget to arrange a space to sit your device to watch the workshop (keep an eye out for the Zoom invite sent by PASTA) – I’d recommend using a tablet or laptop for Zoom calls, as you can’t always see everyone when using mobile.
And there’s more
I’m so happy to see that PASTA now have an online shop, packed with handcrafted meals so you can enjoy an authentic Italian dishes from home (the ricotta and spinach ravioli looks beaut). And it doesn’t end there, there’s also a deli section which acts as your own Italian shop to bag individual items like gnocchi, spaghetti or sauces to build your own dish and stock your cupboards. Get your order in by 6pm on Tuesday and you’ll make the cut for delivery on the Friday delivery.
Workshops are priced at £20 which I can assure you is an absolute steal knowing first hand how great the workshops are. If you’re on the fence just think about the life skill you’ll learn which you can keep forever to wow dinner guests with.
The items in the online shop are a bargain too and with the knowledge that all items are handmade by the team gives it that unrivaled authentic edge.
PASTA is yet another stellar example of a food business going against the midst of adversity to regenerate its offer to not only keep us well fed but offer a new concept to the local food scene.
It’s fantastic to see that both sessions this Saturday are fully booked so get booked in and make the others a sell-out to keep our local food scene booming.
Stay safe and eat well.