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Want to Learn How to Make Pasta & Sausage?

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rolling pici pasta

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I am happy to announce that I will be doing a pair of cooking classes in May, and I hope those of you who are semi-local can come! I’ll be doing a basic pasta-making class at Whole Foods in Sacramento, and will be doing an intensive, hands-on class on sausage-making at Cavallo Point in Sausalito.

Here are the details:

The Whole Foods class will be all about making pasta without a pasta maker. Lots of people want to make pasta, but don’t necessarily want to spend all kinds of money on a pasta machine. Fortunately there are lots of pasta shapes that are easy to make without one.

I will go over basic dough-making, making doughs with flours other than wheat — spelt, chestnut, farro, barley, chickpea, etc — and then we will all make several traditional Italian shapes. The exact shapes are to be determined, but I am planning on:

  • Pici, a fat, hand-rolled spaghetti from Tuscany
  • Cavatelli, a cup-shaped short pasta common in Southern Italy
  • Strascinati, a similar Southern Italian pasta that looks a little like an empty pea pod
  • Sardinian semolina gnocchi, which look like little chickpeas

You will get a chance to roll out these pasta shapes yourself — they are easy to master, but there is a trick to each one. Afterwards, we’ll make a simple fennel-tomato sauce to go with our pasta and have dinner!

The class will be Saturday, May 7 at the Whole Foods on 4315 Arden Way in Sacramento. It will start at 5 p.m., and the cost is TBD, but it will be $50 or less per person. I will update this post when I hear what the actual cost will be. Once the class appears on the store’s calendar of classes, you can call 916 488 2800 or register for the event here.

Hank Shaw making venison sausage

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

A week later, I will be in Sausalito at Cavallo Point to do a hands-on class on making sausage from scratch.

That class will be limited to about 20 people so I can give everyone the attention they need to learn how to make professional-quality sausages at home. We will be using Kitchenaid grinders, and I will bring my sausage-stuffing machine to demonstrate.

We’ll go over meat safety, different types of sausage, effects of different spices and meats and grinds, and then we will make some basic Italian sausages.

I understand that most people won’t have access to a proper sausage stuffing machine, so we will do more than make links. I will show you how to make sausage patties, how to use alternative wrappers (like cabbage and grape leaves) for sausages, as well as how to make French crepinettes using caul fat.

That class will be Saturday, May 14 starting at 11 a.m. Tentative cost will be $95 plus tax, and registration will be capped at about 20 people. You can call 415 339 4700 to reserve your spot, or check this link for more details.

Hoping to see some of you there!

5 responses to “Want to Learn How to Make Pasta & Sausage?”

  1. Carolyn Warfield

    My husband just received a big fat “hint” link–my birthday’s later this month and I’m hoping he’ll sign me up as a gift. I’ve made many breads with so-called alternative flours, but not pastas. Fun!

  2. Summersweet Farm

    Oh my. I would register for both RIGHT NOW if I still lived on the west coast. These are both things that I have been wishing that I could learn. :)

  3. Christina


    I clicked on the link you provided near the end of your post and when it sent me to Calvallo Point I didn’t see your class?? What am I doing wrong?


  4. Appetizers: Local food writer Hank Shaw teaching pasta, sausage next month

    [...] For more information or to sign up, check out Shaw's blog. [...]

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