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Stir: Hands on Pasta Workshop

Last Saturday, Mr. E surprised me, my sister and brother in law with a pasta making class at one of my old favorites, Stir link . link.  It’s been quite some time since Mr. E and I were on our cooking class kick. We frequented Stir more times than I’m willing to share.  That, of course, was before we bought our house and spent money on food with wreckless abandon.  I do however, feel a certain level of shame since I am a serious apostle in the church of Barbara Lynch. Sorry Barbara!!

My Stir revival was jump started when I attended a cookbook class there not too long ago for Koreantown.  That was more in tune with its traditional demonstration class, which naturally made it less hands on. That being said, I had zero issue observing, absorbing, and eating all that heavenly food.  I also learned some good wine paring tips. Korean food is certainly not uncommon in cities, but I do still find that many people haven’t tried it yet.  Guys, I’m not kidding.  Get out there and eat all of the Korean food.  You will taste flavors that you have never had before, I absolutely promise that.

You know you’re in Lynch land when the Siena Farm sunflowers show up.

Learning to make all sorts of pasta shapes

My sister, the angolotti making machine!

wax bean, potato, basil

broccoli, anchovy, walnut

cherry tomato, arugula, pine nuts

bacon, corn, cheddar

Before I snapped these photos, we were all making flour and semolina doughs.  I felt like a werid fusion between a bad boss nonna and Lou Ferrigno while mixing eggs in my flour well. Forget arm day at the gym, all that kneading will get you jacked. It gave me a huge appreciation for the art and amount of love and care (i.e. elbow grease) that goes into fresh pasta dough.

All of the pastas were delicious and had very different textures. The trofie was surprisingly al dente. The density of the pasta gave for a very good chew. I was tricked time and time again by those darn wax beans expecting a piece of pasta. My favorite dish was up next, the spaghetti. It had classic Sicilian flavors with just a whisper of the ocean with the anchovy. The walnuts and the heaping scoop of toasted breadcrumbs on top gave it the textural pleasantries I am always looking for in a well balanced dish. These were paired with a 2015 domaine de Marquiliani vin de corse rose. The wine was so pale I actually mistook it for a white wine. It had notes of peach and was very bright, highlighting the fresh herbs and veggies packed into our first two courses.

Our next course was the gnudi, an incredibly delicate ricotta pasta. It’s very similar to gnocchi, just nix the potatoes. The gnudi was so light and practically melted into the simple tomato pan sauce. The pasta was quintessentially summer and was a welcome break to some of the heavier flavors we’d had.

The final masterpiece was the agnolotti. It was stuffed with slow cooked bacon rillete with corn and cheddar. If it sounds rich, you are right. This was a tough one to get through after three plates of pasta already, but I pushed through to finish my red wine.

While I’m not totally sold I’ll be making handmade pasta anytime I feel like eating pasta at home, I am way less intimidated to do it for special occasions. The last time I made gnocchi without any professional guidance, I ended up with potato bubble gum. I have more confidence in my abilities this time around.

102 Waltham Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 423-7847

Myers + Chang

There are some places you find yourself revisiting over and over and over again. The recent flavor of the month 2014 has been Myers + Chang, the restaurant love child of one Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers. Joanne Chang changed my life with her godly status sticky buns from Flour. I even went so far as to recreate them in my home (here). If I were trying to make sticky sweet unleavened bread for Passover, I would have succeeded. Needless, to say, it was a bit of a proofing fail, but it did taste darn good!

The husband and wife team have created a menu full of familiar twists and turns — savory, bright, complex flavors you’ll find in Chinatown, but with a much hipper spin. Queue that for those delicate friends of yours who are afraid to try dim sum in Chinatown.

fresh rolls served with a peanut sauce that is finger lickin’ good

spicy dan dan noodles

general myers’s chicken wings with candied sesame and orange peel

pork belly bao // miso glazed carrots that may convert you to vegetarianism

pork dumplings

crispy salt + pepper calamari and jalapenos with sriracha aioli

my dining mates who cannot handle heat

Ray Ray! (fellow Cooking Agent, remember this?)

At this point, I’ve probably gone through the entire menu and there hasn’t been anything I’ve been disappointed with. Though some dishes may stray from your truly authentic Chinese eats, I don’t mind the adventure.

Myers + Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118