The second of the special pasta cooking lessons hosted by Administrative Director Anna Rita, Fettuccine and Ravioli night was met with hungry excitement. After the wildly successful Gnocchi night of a few weeks previous, students were eager to get back in the kitchen. At this event, Anna Rita instructed the assembled designers, artists, and urbanists in the art of mixing, kneading, and folding fettuccine and ravioli pasta by hand. The actual pasta dough is simple: a mixture of water, flour, and eggs. The dough is first kneaded and then rolled progressively thinner, first with a rolling pin and then with a hand crank pasta machine. At this stage, the fettuccine is cut into its characteristic ribbons while the thin sheets of ravioli dough are placed over a shaped metal ravioli mold. Into each space goes a spoonful of Anna Rita’s famous ravioli filling: a rich mixture of spinach and three kinds of cheese—parmigiano, and both cow and sheep ricotta. As Anna Rita declared, “It’s not light!” To finish them off, another layer of dough is added on top and the ravioli are cut out using a crimped roller to seal them off.
With the pasta bubbling away in the pot, the Cornell students sat down to a cauldron of rice and vegetable soup and a selection of vegetable frittata appetizers. Soon the first batch of fettuccine was cooked and dressed in a tomato and eggplant sauce. Soon tureens, bowls, and basins of pasta paraded from the kitchen, all dressed in a different sauce of Anna Rita’s invention. One of the most popular ravioli sauces was a simple sage and olive oil dressing—not much was needed to set off the flavorful filling! Just as the last ravioli were divvied up and the fettuccine bowl scraped clean, the first desserts were brought out. This time, Daniela—housekeeper and baker extraordinaire—truly outdid herself. In addition to an exceptional range of cookies and cakes there was also an entire tray of homemade tiramisù. With prosecco in hand, we gathered together to end the meal and toast the people who made this feast possible.