Pasta, the carbs of happiness. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love pasta (well, unless you live a Gluten-Free life!). My favourite? Tagliatelle, Linguine & Penne. So when the chance came up to transform myself into a pasta making Italian Goddess, I snapped it & headed to The Restaurant Bar & Grill in Princes Square for the evening. Slightly ignoring the fact that I am neither Italian or a Goddess, but my very vivid imagination allowed me to dream!
I arrived with my friend with no idea what we would be doing (or let ourselves in for!) & sat down with a complementary glass of Shiraz Mouvedre Percheron Red Wine from South Africa (small glass £4.25, large glass £5.75 & entire bottle for £15.50). I took one sip of it & I fell instantly in love. I rarely drink alcohol but my oh my if I could have hugged that glass of wine, I would have. My love affair with that wine began.
We were then shown into the function room with 7 other class members and met by the Head Chef & his Boss who was here for the occasion. Tables were laid out with the key ingredients for our pasta adventure along with aprons and paper chef hats. The chefs then spoke about the history of pasta and discussed various types of pasta before demonstrating how to make the dough for pasta. It was then left up to us to make our own! Scary thought!
The ratio that they use to make Pasta is 100g strong flour to 1 egg, pretty basic. Flour was poured onto the table, a well made & egg cracked into the middle making a well. The mixture was then worked on a flour bench until it all comes together resulting in a smooth ball (same texture as a boob, according to the chef!). The dough is then cut in half, patted with flour with the palm of your hands then you are ready to pass it through the pasta machine changing numbers from the highest to lowest passing it through several times on each number. We were told that some places pass it through the machine around 20 times which seems a little excessive but I’m sure the pasta would have been so smooth and silky! Stephen and I opted for 6 times. Passing, folding, passing again, dusting with flour, passing, folding on repeat until we got the pasta as thin as we wanted. I decided to make ravioli whereas Stephen decided to make Spaghetti, Tortellini & a letter P for Pasta with leftovers. My ravioli was stuffed with Ricotta Cheese & Spinach, cut & then folded over. Egg yolk was then used to stick the ends together before using a cutter to make little wiggly corners. That is when it got a little difficult! The room was so warm that the pasta started being sticky so we had to keep flouring the table to rescue our pasta. Thankfully it was all in 1 piece and we put it onto our trays for the judging panel! Nerve racking getting our pasta judged by appearance, consistency & texture when it was the very first time we EVER made pasta.
While the judging was taking place, we all sat down to dinner. For appetizers, Bread with Olive Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar dip and Olives in Garlic & Herbs. For main course, I decided on Linguine ai gamberetti (Sauteed king prawns, chilli, garlic & parsley). Stephen had Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (Slow-cooked beef & tomato ragu). Both dishes were amazing. I’ve always loved eating at The Restaurant Bar & Grill but this was the first time I ever ate pasta there. I was not disappointed at all. The king prawns were cooked perfectly, the pasta so soft and silky & the herbs complimented it all. Stephen’s ragu was the perfect mix of beef, tomatoes, garlic & herbs. I kept stealing some of his it was that good! After the main course we had a little break before dessert & I abused my love of Shiraz Mouvedre Percheron ordering a few LARGE glasses of it. It is the type of wine that is rather dangerous because it is so easy to drink. I loved it so much, I had to ask Rosanna the Events Manager to send me the name of it the next day as there was no way I would have remembered it. Tipsy on red wine is so much fun! I still have a love affair with that wine, every time I go to the restaurant, I have to have a glass of it with dinner. But enough about that wine, the dessert needs to be discussed! I had the Summer Fruits pudding with clotted cream & Stephen had the Limoncello Cheesecake. Aaah puddings how I adore thee! I think that is the quickest I’ve ever ate something & wish I ate it all over again. The meal as a whole was superb & I couldn’t shut up about it for days afterwards!
The entire event was a huge success. Sadly Stephen & I didn’t win first place in the judging competition but we all left with goodie bags which had an apron, a recipe guide on making pasta at home, a £10 voucher to use within the restaurant & a little box of chocolates. I had an amazing time at the event put on by Rosanna & would recommend it to anyone wishing to do something different one evening! The event & dinner lasted around 4 hours and cost £30 which is a bargain if you think about it! The food within The Restaurant Bar & Grill is by far my favourite in Glasgow & even if you can’t make it to any of the events they put on, I would recommend that you have dinner there at least once. I found the restaurant by chance & haven’t looked back. To die for.
I have to say a huge thank you to Rosanna & the chefs for putting on a great event! Can’t wait until I get to the next one…. cocktails anyone? *hiccup*