Use Your Noodle
- September 26, 2012
- on 9/26/2012
- MoJo: want2dish
Submitted by Sarah Withers
As a recreational runner with her sixth half marathon on the horizon I know the week before any big race means two things, rest and carbohydrates. What’s my favorite way to carbo-load? That would have to be a big bowl of starchy noodles. As easy as boiling whole wheat fusilli from the box is, I figured I could ease the (slight) guilt of enjoying pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during race weeks by making my own noodles. I took a pasta making class at The Kitchen Studio Cooking School last week to give it a shot.
This was my first class at the local cooking school and I’m already looking to sign up for my next one. Chef and owner Christine Van Bloem sure knows how to show a foodie a good time. At classes like the one I took you’ll get to play around in the kitchen, pick up some new skills and recipes, eat everything you make, and you don’t have to do the dishes!
On the menu last Thursday was pumpkin lasagna with ricotta and swiss chard, fettuccini in a tomato cream sauce with shrimp and scallops, and linguine with portabellas, sage &walnuts. The group ended up just making a ton of fettuccini. There was actually so much that while we students began to eat and our instructor, Carla Lemons, was giving us some additional tips and tricks, Chef Christine whipped up an additional cheese and cream sauce with the ingredients that happened to be on hand.
Easily rolling and cutting fresh pasta at home really does require some sort of apparatus. This just means that I get to purchase some new accessories for my KitchenAid mixer. Maybe someday I’ll have the opportunity to learn the art of pasta cutting from someone else’s Italian grandmother, but for now I’ll settle for dough from scratch. We were given two options for mixing our pasta dough. The first was in a mixer with a dough hook, the second was with a fork. I opted for the more traditional (and messier) fork method.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make fresh pasta you can certainly read all the recipes you want and watch all the instructional YouTube videos there are, but mixing together a ball of dough with your own hands is an invaluable learning experience. I highly recommend a class like this where the pressure is low and you’re getting to practice under the watchful eyes of a chef and experienced pasta maker.
With fall beginning to make its presence known, the season of spending more time indoors is upon us. For me that usually means more time in the kitchen. As I begin to attempt making fresh pasta at home there are definitely a few tips from The Kitchen Studio that will be kept in mind.
- · Kneading and Resting your pasta dough for the proper amount of time makes all the difference.
Just like with any other dough as flour can be very finicky.
- · “For the love of all that is good, if you're going to go to the trouble of making your own pasta, get good Parmesan.” Words of Chef Van Bloem
There should be something printed/written on the rind. I try to keep a wedge of Parmesan in my fridge at all times. It’s always better when grated fresh.
- · The more dough you knead, the more pasta you can eat.
In true proverb fashion and helping alleviate any carbohydrate guilt. You’re essentially working out. Plus making food from scratch cancels out the calories anyway, right?
The Kitchen Studio is located at 5301 Buckeystown Pike near the Hampton Inn. The upcoming class schedule includes classes on sushi, Thai cuisine, cookies, cupcakes and more. They offer classes for kids and teen too.
The carb-loader behind this post is Sarah Withers. She’ll probably eventually share some recipes involving fresh pasta over on her blog, FoodandFrederick.com. When she’s not cooking she’s bringing her love of food and Frederick, MD to the streets with Taste Frederick Food Tours.
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