Guitar spaghetti pasta with butter and anchovy sauce
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.