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In Italian, “a mano” means “by hand,” and on Thursday, July 18th, at A Mano, a Neapolitan trattoria and pizzeria in Ridgewood, you can get your own hands on some fresh dough and learn how to roll out, cut and turn it into a number of delectable pasta dishes.
The cost of the demonstration—$10 per person—will be credited towards dinner immediately following the events.
Reservations are required for one of the room’s 80 seats. “It’s kind of like dinner and a show,” says managing partner Greg Stott, a native of Ridgewood.
Stott, a former stock broker and 2003 graduate of the French Culinary Institute, will show guests how to use a stand mixer to knead one pound of dough and the mixer’s automated roller attachment to cut delicate strands or sturdy sheets of perfect pasta.
“You can also use a traditional hand crank pasta machine,” says Stott, 42, “but it takes a little more dexterity, a little more skill.”
He will demonstrate two different dough recipes. “One that I generally use for a noodle, like linguine or fettuccini, actually has a little semolina flour in it, which adds a texture that allows the sauce something to grab onto."
The other is a smooth, egg yolk-enriched dough used for lasagna, ravioli and other stuffed-pastas. “It is much more pliable, whereas the other one is a little on the drier side,” he says.
Various pastas will be available for guests to examine, “We will pass around the dough so people can handle it and see what the right consistency is,” Stott says. If the dough is too loose, or too dry, Stott will offer tips and tricks on how to fix them.
As a follow-up, on Thursday, August 15th, Stott will offer another show-and-sample where he will make fresh mozzarella and dessert.
Guests will learn to make A Mano’s melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella, including stretching, forming and setting the cheese that A Mano uses on its wood-fired pizzas, rolls with prosciutto and grilled vegetables and layers in caprese salad with tomatoes, basil and olive oil.
For dessert, Stott will focus on custards. He sees custard making as a versatile skill. “You can use them in quiches, crème brulee, puddings, tiramisu,” he says. There will be a discussion and demonstration of mixing, baking and using a water bath to create a silky-smooth custard.
At A Mano, almost everything—from the tiles to the two domed pizza ovens, was imported from Italy when the restaurant was created in 2007. It is one of only three restaurants in the United States certified as making authentic Neapolitan Pizza. by both Italian pizza associations, the Verace Pizza Napoletana and Associazone Pizzaiuoli Napoletani.
Now you can absorb some of that expertise and create an authentic Italian culinary experience in your own home.
24 Franklin Avenue, Ridgewood
SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at suzannelowery.com.