It’s been about three months since I began Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course! Read my previous updates about Rouxbe here.
Before we moved from Boston to LA, I worked for several years in the downtown’s financial district, which was right near the North End. There are literally more than 100 Italian restaurants and bakeries in this densely packed area. I have really happy memories of walking through that area while we lived there, and when I think of Boston, the feel of the North End is one of the things I miss the most.
One year, the department of the law firm I worked at held a half-day retreat at one of the restaurants in the North End. The retreat included a scavenger hunt to buy ingredients at the various small markets dotted around the area for a cooking class we’d take later on in the day. It was fun to walk into each one and look at all of the new-to-me ingredients packed along the walls in the tiny shops, as well as interact with the shop keepers as we figured out what to buy on our list.
The hands-on cooking class itself later on that day, of course, was centered around butter, cheese, meat and eggs, so I mostly just passively watched. However, seeing the restaurant’s head pasta maker demonstrate how to roll out fresh pasta using a pasta machine to make cheese ravioli using a Norpro ravioli press inspired me to attempt to try to veganize the entire process myself at home.
If it wasn’t for that two-hour demonstration, I wouldn’t have attempted to make pasta or ravioli on my own in the past couple of years. It just seemed way too advanced and overwhelming of a process. Except that it’s not. I mean, it’s a process, but it’s a completely meditative and relaxing one. The end result is always worth the work, and the work is always just as satisfying as the end result.
Although the inspiration and enthusiasm was there, the intuitive know-how and complete understanding of the process was not. My results were always hit-or-miss because I was guessing on ratios and timing instead of approaching it with complete confidence about how all of the ingredients worked together. So now that I’ve entered the second half of Rouxbe, I was especially excited to see the pasta-making portion of the course pop up on my dashboard.
This time, instead of just watching some parts of pasta dough being made, I learned about the entire process of pasta making in Rouxbe’s highly structured platform.
By the time I set up my mise en place and rolled out my Rouxbe Eggless Pasta Dough, I already had a good understanding of the what and why behind each step of the process, as well as how everything worked together. From learning about how gluten behaves, what impact resting and kneading has on the dough and how to cut it, I didn’t just blindly replicate the process—I understood it. The results? flawless. The taste and texture? perfect. Did I get it right the first time? yes!
This completely vegan homemade manicotti was absolutely amazing. Soft but sturdy, it encapsulated the rich and creamy tofu ricotta filling, and held up well under a slather of homemade tomato sauce and a drizzle of cashew béchamel. We loved every bite of this, and the work and effort required was part of what made everything about this task so perfect.
My takeaway from this task? When armed with the right kind of expert guidance, I can do more than I think I can, and the end result offers much more than a fantastic dish: it creates a sense of satisfaction that feels just as good as the finished dish tastes.
If you are interested in learning about plant-based cooking or taking your already fabulous plant-based cooking skills to the next level, Rouxbe’s next seating is August 6. And now is the time to sign up!
If you enroll in Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course between now and 11:59 p.m. PST on May 15, they are offering $400 off their standard seat price. You can also sign up for a free 7-day trial and check it out for yourself.
Stay tuned for another Rouxbe update next month!
Rouxbe generously waived my tuition in exchange for blogging about my experience and sharing my honest opinions about their Plant-Based Professional Certification Course.