Friday, August 4, 2017

Homemade Pasta and A Cooking Class!

Missy Tippens

I had a special treat this week. I took a cooking class! I signed up at The Cook's Warehouse and took their Imagine the "Pasta-Abilities" hands-on class with Chef Gloria Smiley.

This is our handout with all the recipes.

It was so fun! And I actually made pasta from scratch, with the assistance of the chef helping me through each step.

We made a basic pasta recipe of 3 eggs and 1.5 cups of all purpose, unbleached flour (we used the red bag King Arthur for the class). We started with flour formed into a well and then broke the eggs into the well. Then we gradually mixed the flour into the eggs with a fork.

After my eggs and flour were mixed

This post would be a mile long if I shared all the steps I went through. But I found this blog post (click the link but come back!) that shows making a recipe that is very similar to what I did.

Still, I want to share a few photos...

We covered the dough any time we left it or were letting it rest to keep it from drying out.

I made sheets of laminated pasta that would become cannelloni. I had never heard the term laminated before! One definition I found mentioned it being a layered pasta from the kneading, resting, rolling (and folding). And yes, I did a LOT of folding! My dough was rather wet so it took many times of folding it, dusting it with more flour, and putting it through the roller to get it to the right texture. What's wonderful about a hands-on class is that I now know how the dough should feel.

This is one time through the rolling machine. We used the hand crank kind at each station. This is starting out at setting #1 (very thick). But when I got to my last rolling, I went to the motorized KitchenAid attachment. So much easier! I think I know what I'll ask for for Christmas (and January birthday combined!).

Chef Gloria helping a student.
While some of us were making pasta, others were making the sauces.

When I got to a smooth, good textured dough, I didn't do any more folding and flouring. Once I put it through the #4 setting, I added bits of parsley leaf (no stems!) to make it pretty (I actually did fold it over and back for that step). Then I ran it through #4 again. Then moved up to #6 for one last rolling. I took that sheet and laid it out to cut into pieces the size of cannelloni. (Although once cooked, they "grew" so I hadn't really cut them small enough.) See how pretty with the parsley! These are the raw noodles.

Then I dropped the pieces into boiling water. It only takes a minute or two to cook fresh pasta. Then I dropped the pieces into a cold/iced water bath. The chef said you can keep it in the water for a few days if you want to (just make sure it's completely submerged so it won't dry out). It's nice that you can make the noodles ahead of time if you're wanting to entertain because I have a feeling I'll destroy my kitchen when I make these. :)

So exciting to see these noodles I made!  What a sense of accomplishment!
The next step was to dry the noddles on tea towels, and then stuff the noodles with the wonderful artichoke and spinach filling other students had made. We also topped with a lemon béchamel sauce.

First we spread a bit of the béchamel into a buttered casserole dish.

Then we filled each cooked pasta sheet with the filling and rolled it up.

Once they were placed into the dish, we topped with the remaining filling (another student and I weren't sure if we were supposed to, but we decided we didn't want to waste it) and spread with the last of the béchamel. Then we covered the dish and baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Other students put together a lemon fettuccini (lemon zest put right into the pasta dough) with lemon vodka and roasted rock shrimp. It was AMAZING.

We also had Ricotta and Herb Gnocchi (not made with the usual potatoes). They were so delicate and delicious!

And we got to enjoy meatballs the chef had made ahead of time (filled with a ball of cheese) along with the student-made pappardelle pasta.

Here are the fettuccini noodles drying on drying racks.

And here are the noddles that will be cut for the pappardelle.

And best of all... we got to eat it!! Here are three of the dishes.

The cannelloni had to bake a little longer, so here is that dish...

I made that!
It was a great night. I definitely want to take more classes. I can't wait! You should check near you to find out if any classes are offered.

I'm so grateful to Chef Gloria Smiley for her patience with this newbie. :) Here's her bio from the Cook's Warehouse website.

Chef Bio:
Chef Gloria Smiley is no stranger to Cook's Warehouse. She has been sous chef for Diane Wilkinson for more years than both of them care to count or can remember. She began her culinary career as a student of Diane's, and has taken classes at Cordon Bleu and LaVarenne in Paris; and with Lydie Marshall in Nyons, France. She is an independent food stylist for print and film and some of her most memorable clients include Julia Child, Jean George Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, and yes, Richard Simmons. She is also a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, IACP and AIWF.


Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest and a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A House Full of Hope was a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA® Nominee. Visit Missy at, and


  1. Missy, what fun this must have been! And what great recipes... Anything stuffed with shrimp has my vote, and cheese-stuffed meatballs??? That's like a cheese-stuffed pizza crust, darling. There's no such thing as too much cheese!

    I'm so glad you had fun with this, it totally shines through your post!

  2. It was a blast, Ruthy! I've wanted to do something like this for years but didn't know The Cook's Warehouse was out there. I somehow found out about it a couple of weeks ago (can't even remember how). I'm so glad I did! They have several other classes that I'm really interested in.

  3. I've known Chef Gloria for years. She's such a delight! And I've been wanting to take a class at The Cook's I know which one it will be. Thanks so much for sharing how much fun your experience was!

  4. What fun!

    We have a kitchen store near us that offers classes. It's been on my bucket list to sign up for one - maybe I'll rope a couple girls in our family to sign up, too. It would be fun with friends, wouldn't it?

    And the pasta - I have a pasta machine, but haven't used it in years. You've inspired me to bring it out!

    1. Jan, I would have loved to do it with a friend. You should do it!

  5. Missy, this is so cool! It looks like you had a great time and the food...ah,the food!!!

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Missy, I meant to say, I was reading this early this morning because a wicked thunderstorm woke me very early. My brain wasn't fully functional yet and I was reading about the canneloni and first I thought you said cannoli so I was wondering why you were putting parsley in the dessert.

      Then I read along and realized it wasn't dessert, but I was thinking of cannellIni - the beans, so it still wasn't registering. By this time I was really getting worried about my brain.

      I finally googled canneloni and realized it's what I think of as manicotti even though there really is a difference.

      Phew! Then I got up and made coffee!

    2. LOL, Mary Cate! You know, I said cannoli several times in talking about it with my parents. So I even got myself confused. :)

  6. Missy, I SO want to do this! What fun! I've always imagined that fresh pasta would be absolutely amazing. Grr... now I want to try this. Must look for pasta-making class. Thank you!

    1. I hope you find one, Mindy! It might not be so easy now with your move. What's the closest large city?

  7. How fun!! We have a pasta maker and I just loaned it to a friend for her clay bead making. LOL. We did make some fettucine and ravioli before we loaned it out. Homemade pasta is the best!
    I love that lemon zest in the dough idea...

    1. Well, Mary Jane, you can loan it to me next! LOL Just mail it across the country. haha You know, you could buy the pasta attachment for your beautiful KitchenAid and would have a motorized version. It's so nice!