Giovanni Rana pasta making masterclass

If you want to be taught how to make perfect ravioli and tortellini where would you go? You’d go straight to the master of fresh pasta, you would go to Mr Giovanni Rana.

Well, let’s say I was lucky enough to be invited for a pasta making masterclass run directly by Mr Giovanni. I could not contain myself with excitement. Mr Giovanni Rana

If you don’t know, Giovanni Rana is an “institution” in Italy. He is the king of quality freshly made ravioli, tortellini, lasagne sheets and of a wide range of fresh pastas.

When you say Giovanni Rana you say fresh pasta. That’s all I can say.

Giovanni’s story is truly inspiring. It is a story of passion, a passion for pasta making and of hard work that transformed his life and made all his dreams come true. He began learning his skills as a boy in his family kitchen, then he worked in a bakery with his brothers until, inspired by the old-world techniques of local women, he began making tortellini in a small shop in San Giovanni Lupato near Verona. He used to deliver fresh tortellini on his red moped to the homes of families who didn’t have time to make their own pasta.

Initially pasta was made by hand but later because of increasing demand Rana switched to machine-made pasta in 1968, patenting the machinery that was developed for making filled pasta shapes. In the 1980’s the Rana brand expanded throughout Italy. Today he is a major player in all European markets and beyond, with production plants in Italy, Argentina and the USA and over 600 employees worldwide.

The majority of Italian supermarkets stock his pasta which is considered the best fresh packaged pasta available on the market.  I am a keen customer too and let’s face it, I love making my own but it is hard to find the time to make fresh pasta most days!

ravioli giovanni rana

Still. I had my chance to learn to make my own here and I certainly didn’t turn it down! Here I was, full of excitement at Giovanni’s restaurant learning to make fresh pasta the proper way!

making ravioli with giovanni rana

And let the fun commence: the eggs are cracked..

cracking eggs

Flour and eggs magically turn into a smooth and soft dough

dough

Which is energetically and firmly rolled into a thin flat sheet

rolling dough

Then magically ravioli begin to appear…

cutting dough

I felt “secure” and confident under the paternal and watchful eye of Mr Giovanni!

Ravioli making with Giovanni Rana

The stuffing is made with ricotta and fresh spinach, a classic delicious Italian filling.

Ravioli making with Giovanni Rana

Leftover bits of pasta are never thrown away as they can be used to make “maltagliati” (which translates to “badly cut”); they make a fabulous addition to soups and minestrone.

Freshly made ravioli

So special learning from the master!

Mr Giovanni Rana and I making pasta!

And a final shot as a memory of this exciting day!

giovanni rana's masterclass

And then a really REALLY yummy and rich lunch was waiting for us at Giovanni’s fab restaurant in London to end the lesson in style!

A mixed Italian meats antipasto with “gnocco fritto” (delicious fried dough typical of Emilia Romagna) was followed by a dish of black squid ink ravioli filled with ricotta and prawns (and you know how much I love seafood!). The dessert was an interesting plate of sweet ravioli filled with ricotta, chocolate and interesting spices…so dangerously moreish!

prosciutto e ravioli

Oh yes, it certainly was a great day! Thank you Mr Rana!

foto giovanni rana

And next time I will be sharing my newly acquired skills and I will be giving you some tips on how to make fresh ravioli in your own home. They are so delicious and the taste of fresh dough is just fabulous!

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16 Responses to Giovanni Rana pasta making masterclass

    • Alida

      It certainly was Angie! I loved it!

  1. Choclette

    Oh what a great opportunity Alida. However much you know, there are always new techniques and tips to learn – in my experience anyway.

    • Alida

      Absolutely, it makes a great difference getting taught properly. I was really pleased with it!

  2. gloria

    aww I love Mr. Giovanni and I would be happy to learn with him to make pasta!!
    Love this post Alida!!

    • Alida

      Thank you Gloria!

  3. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dearest Alida, How cool is this! What an honor and opportunity to be in this class and learn from the master himself. I love making fresh pasta, my grandmother taught me how to make ravioli when I was young. She used to make fresh pasta a lot. Not only did she teach me how to make ravioli but also the small pastas as well as the long one. The taste is so different than the package that you get in a box. Love all of your photos and I love the traditional way you make the dough with what my mom and I call the well technique. Lunch looks fabulous, just what I would picture. So happy for you and I am looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us…Have a terrific week….Dottie 🙂

  4. la cucina di Molly

    Che bello vederti nella foto con il famoso Giovanni Rana! La sua pasta fresca è rinomata ed in effetti è ottima! Complimenti per questa bella esperienza, un abbraccio!

    • Alida

      Grazie Molly e’ stata una bellissima esperienza per me. Baci

  5. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    Home-made ricotta and spinach ravioli takes me straight back to my childhood………. It was always one of my favourites! This looks like a fantastic day…….. What an amazing experience!

    • Alida

      Yes it really was. Ricotta and spinach is one of my favourite fillings ever!

  6. Catherine

    Dear Alida, What a beautiful experience. I am so very happy for you. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  7. Diana

    ALIDA! I have been a little missing in action for the past few months….but I am really trying to figure out how I missed this post! THIS IS AMAZING!!!! HOW EXCITING! I see this sweet man on commercials here all the time! WOW…..sei bravissima!!! What an amazing experience!!! I also love all the photos of YOU! I mean….I am nuts for your food photography, but it is very nice to see more pics of you……sei brava E bella!!! Adesso guardo un po altre post……buone feste!!!! BACI!

    • Alida

      Ma cara! Quanti bei complimenti, mi fai sentire benissimo.. grazie, grazie e ancora grazie!!! I wish you a fantastic Christmas with plenty of gorgeous Italian food and maybe some American specialities too. Tanti bacioni!

  8. Rochelle Pantaleo Prybylski

    I recognize Mr. Rana from not only his products, but am very aware of Rana Pasta. They have opened a distribution center just 2 miles away from my home in Bartlett, Illinois.

    I love their products! How lucky you were to learn from him!

    • Alida

      Yes it was an honour to be taught by the master of tortellini! You are right, his products are great quality!

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