A cooking class with a delicious feast as your reward.
Go with your taste, find your recipe!" This is just one of the secrets to making the perfect bowl of pasta, according to our local cooking tutors, Stefano and Manu, who add a delicious sprinkle of Italian phrases to their instructions at their cooking class in the Roman neighbourhood of Trastevere.
But first, we have to make the pasta.
We empty a bowl of 00 flour onto our wooden chopping boards and "make the Colosseum" by creating an empty space in the centre, adding an egg and mixing it using a fork. Then it's time to work out Italian style, kneading the sticky mixture until the dough is smooth and our biceps hurt.
As the dough rests in the fridge, two volunteers are put in charge of sizzling guanciale (pork cheek), adding a dash of white wine for a touch of sweetness, and creating an amatriciana sauce. While this is simmering, Stefano whips up gelato made with lush in-season peaches.
The rich, glossy pasta in my bowl is packed with flavour and looks nothing like the insipid amatriciana pasta I make back home.
Manu whisks our balls of dough back into the kitchen, and we follow her instructions to create fettuccine using a hand-cranked pasta machine and a "chitarra", which resembles a tiny torture rack. Designed in the 1800s, the wooden frame with wire stretched lengthways cuts our dough into strips. It proves you don't need high-tech equipment to make great Italian food - just a bit of patience. We roll a thinner pasta sheet for the ravioli, then dollop ricotta on the middle part using three fingers to space out the filling so the parcels can be neatly closed, then we're shown how to use the edge of a glass to cut the ravioli.
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"Cream is for dessert, not pasta!" declares Stefano, adding a splash of pasta water to the pan filled with fettuccine and sauce. Wine glasses are filled, and we sit at a shared table to eat. The rich, glossy pasta in my bowl is packed with flavour and looks nothing like the insipid amatriciana pasta I make back home - but that will change as soon as I return to Australia. takewalks.com