Gui­tar spaghetti pasta with butter and an­chovy sauce

Jamaica Gleaner - - FOOD - Nashauna Lalah Life­style Edi­tor

IT’S NOT ev­ery day you have fun dur­ing class, but when lessons are be­ing taught by Ital­ian chef Gio­vanni Ciresa, it’s a whole dif­fer­ent story. Lux­ury re­sort Half Moon, in Mon­tego Bay, St James, re­cently hosted Ciresa for a three-day food ad­ven­ture that in­cluded a mas­ter class.

Ea­ger stu­dents who signed up for the exclusive event piled into the mag­nif­i­cent kitchen at Half Moon’s Sugar Mill Restau­rant, ready to learn at the feet of the mas­ter. Ciresa, af­ter all, is no slouch. He is a well­re­garded lec­turer and con­sul­tant on gas­tron­omy who has taught at the world-fa­mous Alma in Italy. He has more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence as a chef. “Cook­ing means ex­per­i­ment­ing, re­search, imag­i­na­tion, and I have based my phi­los­o­phy on their har­mony,” he said.

Stu­dents in the mas­ter class were tasked with mak­ing their own lunch – from scratch – the tra­di­tional Ital­ian way. The first les­son was gar­ganelli – an egg­based pasta formed by rolling flat, square sheets of pasta dough into a tubu­lar shape. There’s a lot of knead­ing in­volved in mak­ing home-made pasta, so be pre­pared to lend some el­bow grease to the ef­fort if you ever in­tend to try it at home. The gar­ganelli board, used to shape the pasta, was a novel rev­e­la­tion for many of the stu­dents. Most had never worked with one be­fore and en­joyed the in­tro­duc­tion, giv­ing them a bit of knowl­edge to brag about next time they are in the com­pany of friends.

The class also learnt how to craft gui­tar spaghetti. This, too, was a treat to learn. The gui­tar spaghetti is so named be­cause of the in­stru­ment used to make it – the pasta gui­tar. They say you aren’t sup­posed to play with your food, but this should be an ex­cep­tion. A pasta gui­tar is a Chef Gio­vanni Ciresa (cen­tre) and Half Moon’s Chef De Cui­sine Cosmo Ric­card (se­cond left) with par­tic­i­pants of the mas­ter class.

frame strung with mu­sic wire, used to cut the fresh pasta into strands. All you have to do is roll out sheets of pasta dough on to the wires and press the sheet through the wires with a rolling pin. If there are bits that get left be­hind, you pluck the string just as you would if you were play­ing a gui­tar, to get them loose. The stu­dents might have had too much fun on this one.

Ciresa also pre­pared risotto – a rice dish cooked in a broth – as his at­ten­tive stu­dents watched. By now the aroma in

the kitchen was mouth-wa­ter­ing. When it was time for lunch, the group of stu­dents (now ea­ger din­ers) fell silent as they de­voured the au­then­tic Ital­ian meal with glee. The fruits of their labour had never tasted so sweet.

Ciresa has now de­parted our shores, leav­ing be­hind him a class­ful of stu­dents who will from now on grap­ple with the idea of ever eat­ing store-bought pasta again.

Here are his recipes be­low for you to try at home. In­gre­di­ents: 300g du­rum wheat semolina flour/all pur­pose flour 2eggs 20ml olive oil Cold wa­ter For the an­chovy sauce 150g butter 30g an­chovy fil­let 60g minced onion An ex­tra spe­cial treat – Chef Ciresa’s risotto with car­rot and chicory delice wth orange.


The mas­ter: Chef Gio­vanni Ciresa at work roast­ing his risotto.

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