Thanks to a thoughtful birthday present, I attended my first cooking class in over a decade just last week.
At Cook Culture, my partner and I along with ten or so others, learned the fine art of making fresh pasta from Victoria’s own Chef Cosmo Meens, owner/chef of Mo:le and The Hot & Cold Café.
I’d always wanted to try and make fresh pasta, but I was a little apprehensive about trying to figure out how to use the pasta machine, particularly how to calculate the different thicknesses of the dough.
I didn’t have to worry though. Cosmo was very thorough in walking us through how to create the pasta dough using a food processor, how to use a potato ricer to create fluffy potatoes for homemade potato gnocchi and even how to twist individual portions of freshly made pasta into tortellini.
When it came time for my partner and I to use the pasta machine to make fettuccine, apparently we misjudged the different thicknesses of the dough. Our machine didn’t have the numbers listed on the dial and we rolled out a chunk of pasta dough almost to the correct thickness, but we missed a step. The thickness of our fettuccine looked more like udon, according to Cosmo, but, hey, that would be closer to me, culturally speaking anyway.
After we all took turns making the fettuccine or angel hair pasta along with learning how to twist the tortellini properly, Cosmo talked about how to make the proper cream sauce for the tortellini and how to create brown butter, which I’d seen before on the Food Network.
The meatballs for the spaghetti were rolled and baked, while the asparagus for the gnocchi dish was blanched. As we cooked, Cosmo shared stories of all the restaurants he worked in and had previously owned and talked about some of his current projects.
We were each served three plates of the pasta we made. I would have to say though everything was delicious; my favourite dish by far was the gnocchi, simple and easy to make, but hardly plain or bland.
Want more of Cosmo’s stories? Check out how a Canadian Olympian became connected to my first cooking class in over a decade.