We Tried This: Handmade Pasta 101
7 things you should know before attending a cooking class at Cookspace Hawai‘i.
Editors’ note: The HONOLULU Magazine staff is always excited to try new things. With this web series, we bring you activities as we try them for the first time—a new one every month.
Photos: Brittney Nitta-Lee
Want to learn how to make the perfect pasta sauce? Or how to craft fresh, homemade noodles by hand? If you’re looking to step up your cooking game, Cookspace Hawai‘i is the place for you. Cooking lessons are offered four times a month, often on the weekends to accommodate people with busy schedules. You can sign up for lessons with local chefs or guest chefs visiting from the Mainland. The lessons generally vary depending on what ingredients are in season, and what holidays are upcoming.
HONOLULU Magazine’s Diane Lee, Onda Pasta’s Andrea Onetti and Cookspace Hawai‘i’s Melanie Kosaka.
Handmade Pasta 101 is the most popular class at Cookspace Hawai‘i. Cookspace Hawai‘i owner Megan Tomino invited us to participate in the class with Andrea Onetti, Italian-born chef and owner of Onda Pasta. In three hours, you learn how to make pasta from scratch, sample fresh pasta and take home your own creations. The class fills up quickly, because Onetti has built a loyal following. (His colorful noodles are regulars at Honolulu Night Market and local farmers markets around O‘ahu.) Good news, though: The class is available every month due to the high demand.
1. Who Might Be Interested?
Twenty people, mostly couples, attended the class on Saturday, March 26. One couple we spoke with wanted to put their new pasta machine to good use. Another couple wanted to spend time learning a new activity together.
2. What to Wear
We recommend dressing casually and comfortably in clothes you usually wear in your home kitchen. You’ll be cracking eggs, mixing flour and rolling dough, so leave your dangling jewelry and long-sleeved shirts at home. Bring an apron if you don’t want to get your clothes stained.
3. How We Felt (Before)
I really wanted to learn how to make fresh homemade pasta. I always buy packaged bow-tie pasta and spaghetti from the grocery store, so it’ll be cool to craft fresh noodles at home without all the extra preservatives.
4. How We Felt (After)
I didn’t realize how easy it is to make fresh pasta. It requires only four simple ingredients (flour, semolina flour, eggs and olive oil) to make perfect pasta, plus a little patience. “It’s flour, eggs and time,” Onetti says.
5. How to Make Pasta Dough with Andrea Onetti
1 cup high-quality baking flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
Olive oil as needed
1. On a clean work surface, we blended the flour and semolina flour in a stainless steel mixing bowl. We made a well in the center of the bowl, then cracked the eggs into the middle. We mixed the flour and eggs with our hands, then added some olive oil.
2. Our group worked together to knead the dough into the consistency of play dough.
3. Our team’s creation. We wrapped the dough in plastic, then let it sit in the refrigerator for half an hour.
4. We spent 15 minutes using a rolling pin to flatten the pasta dough into thin sheets. Our neighbors improvised with a glass jar. Be patient, it’ll be a good workout.
5. We rolled the thin sheets of pasta. Think: wafer roll.
6. We sliced the pasta into a desired width. We sprinkled some semolina flour to prevent the noodles from sticking.
7. Unroll the cut pasta.
8. Onetti cooked the pasta al dente, then mixed it with fresh tomato sauce.
9. Onetti plated dishes with fresh pasta to serve 22 people.
6. Would We Go Again?
Definitely. I love cooking, so I’m considering taking other classes at Cookspace. If Onetti wants to teach a Handmade Pasta 102 class on making pasta infused with spinach, beets, red peppers or even squid ink, sign me up!
Make friends with the people in your group. Our group mate, Bill, even helped us with flattening the dough.
Go with an empty stomach, because you’ll get to sample some pasta dishes during the class.
Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions.
Bring a rolling pin to roll the dough. Otherwise, a glass bottle will do the trick.
Bring Tupperware to take home your fresh pasta.
$65, Cookspace classroom at Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 2360, 695-2205, cookspacehawaii.com
READ MORE STORIES BY DIANE LEE