Well, I’ve finally redeemed my Valentine’s Day present from Will…a gift certificate for a class from the Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul.

And no, he wasn’t dropping a hint about my cooking prowess, I promise. 🙂

See, I’ve always talked about wanting to take a class, and Will, being the great listener that he is, decided that might make a really fun gift.

He was definitely right.

On a side note, since I think he’d love seeing that sentence in print, I decided to give it its own paragraph.

Back to my class, we learned how to make pasta and delicious accompanying sauces. Chef Antonio walked us through the process of making pasta dough (which wasn’t too bad, aside from all that kneading), and then we used a pasta machine to form the homemade fettuccine.

I must say I have an entire new respect for pastamakers because while the process isn’t particularly complicated, it is time consuming. With patience not really being my strong point, I was wise enough to foresee that I won’t probably be doing this at home any time soon. We don’t exactly have the counter space anyway…

Even more fun than making fettuccine was making homemade pesto tortellini and fragrant ravioli. Now that’s a process I can get behind. While some of my tortellini were a little more free form than others, I couldn’t have been more proud when none of them broke open in the boiling salted water.

My favorite dish of the night, however, was the two-sauce cannelloni with prosciutto, mushrooms and a mountain of grated parm. I was definitely full by the time they served this (the last pasta course), but somehow, I was able to enjoy each and every delicious cheesy bite—a highlight of what was an amazing introduction to cooking class.

Here’s hoping I get all Julia Child and take another one (pastry, perhaps?) in the future.