Hello Fellow Pasta Lover,
This is part 1 of a 3-part review of the Craftsy online cooking class:Classic Italian Pasta Sauces: Meat & Tomato, by Giuliano Hazan.
In this series, I'll be sharing my thoughts and experience with the class as I work my way through the lessons to give you a better idea of what you can expect.
If learning new cooking techniques online sounds like something you might enjoy, I encourage you to take a class. There are plenty to choose from! I personally recommend Giuliano Hazan's courses.
This is my second online class with him and it's just as great as the first one - Homemade Pasta. I'll be working my way through all of his courses one by one so I can report back on the content and the caliber of the coursework.
Classic Italian Sauces: Meat & Tomato - Review Part 1
Personally, I really love taking online classes - especially cooking classes. And Italian cooking classes just make me giddy. Seriously.
I think it's the instant gratification I get from watching my own personal video lesson on the topic of my choice on my schedule. Add in my favorite food - pasta - and it feels very empowering and indulgent at the same time. Maybe it's just me...
Anyway...it was a real treat for me to enroll in Giuliano Hazan's course on Craftsy on Classic Italian Pasta Sauces: Meat & Tomato. As you would expect, this course is all about tomato and meat sauces. I waited until I had a nice quiet evening alone to start the program.
First up...a butter and tomato sauce that has just 5 simple ingredients. To be honest, I'd never heard of an Italian tomato sauce that used butter as the key ingredient. Olive oil, yes, but not butter. Who knew, right? I love the idea as butter is one of my top foods of all times - it's right up there with bacon...Julia Child had it so right!!
Anyway, back to the sauce...it was a super easy recipe that takes under an hour. Simply combine the peeled onion (another one of my top foods) a generous amount of butter, the chopped canned tomatoes with their juice (San Marzano's would be perfect for this), and salt. He even starts with a cold pan - another first! After cooking it down for 45 minutes to an hour, you end up with a gorgeous, rich, red thick texture that is so enticing.
One of the things I love about Guiliano's classes is the time he takes to explain the little culinary details that make all difference. Things like never covering a pasta sauce, adding plenty of salt to the water - but no oil! - and never rinsing the pasta, the difference between artisanal and commercial pasta and why it matters. Helpful little tips and tricks that you would have learned from your Italian Nonna, if you were lucky enough to have one.
To finish the dish, Guiliano garnishes his sauce with PLENTY of real Parmegiano Reggiano cheese and tosses it thoroughly with fresh egg pasta until the pasta is completely coated. Every bite has plenty of flavor. Perfection! As you can see in the screen grab above, the onion is perfectly cooked and served right along with the pasta. Using fresh egg pasta puts this one recipe over the top for me. Yumm!
Next up...classic tomato sauce with garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. This is the more familiar classic "pomodoro" sauce known worldwide...stay tuned!