Some of my fondest childhood memories are of family outings to a hole in the wall restaurant in New York City’s little Italy called La Mela. The walls in the place were plastered with polaroids of their well fed customers, and family style tables were covered in brightly colored plastic cloths. At La Mela, a menu was never offered. Instead of choosing an item or two off the menu, the waiter served course after heaping course of homemade italian food until no one could swallow another bite.
I can’t help but look back on the mountainous trays of fresh ravioli, manicotti, zitti, and lasagna and sigh, because sometimes rice flour just doesn’t cut it. I get my hands on gluten free ravioli maybe once a year. The time I tried to craft my own, the kitchen looked like it had been turned upside down and inside out, plus they didn’t taste that good.
It wasn’t until I attended Jeffrey Larsen’s gluten free pasta class this past weekend that I learned of a world of possibilities in gluten free pasta making. The talented chef has been cooking his whole life and his passion for food seemed to only strengthen after discovering his own gluten intolerance. Instead of settling on store bought brown rice and quinoa noodles like the rest of us, Jeffrey has tirelessly experimented with a gluten free pasta dough, and his seems perfect.
Set in a brightly lit studio in Potrero hill, Jeffrey’s classes run about 2 hours. A thorough demonstration of the entire process will ensure that you won’t leave the place wondering how to accomplish his recipe on your own. Jeffery encourages students to snap photos of the process, and let us all try the finished product: fresh ravioli and fettucini that boiled up in just 3 minutes.
Jeffrey has exciting plans for upcoming gluten free courses. He’s got a great recipe for pizza dough, pies, tarts, and potstickers. After trying a slice of his mock rye loaf, I’ll definitely be at his next bread class. Check his schedule for upcoming classes here.