Fresh Pasta Workshop at The New School of Cooking


After a hike at Baldwin Hills in Culver City, I stumbled into New School of Cooking Cafe for a coffee. When I left the cafe, directly next door I saw a huge kitchen with a plethora of tools and I totally geeked out. I had to see what was it was all about, so I popped my head in an office part of the building. This is how I learned there was a professional culinary school in Culver City, The New School of Cooking Academy, which is really exciting cause I’ve been flirting with the idea of entering some sort of culinary program. I got even more excited when their staff member told me they offer weekend workshops for hobbyist cooks and gave me a schedule. I went home and researched the classes they offer and I was blown away with the variety of workshops. The workshops that caught my eyes were Essential Knife Skills, Artisan Bread Making, Sausage Making and Baking With Chocolate. While these all sounding amazing, I decided to take the Fresh Pasta Workshop. I’ve had it in my head for so long that pasta is such hard item to make and that I could never do it. I was so wrong.

The New School of Cooking Academy
8690 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Ken 1

Ken 2This workshop was taught by Chef Ken Lee, a graduate of Dublin School of Catering and a “Top Chef” season 1 contestant. He started off by teaching us how to make traditional pasta dough. Semolina and all purpose flour, with 2 – 3 large eggs are needed. I loved that I could see in a mirror above him, what exactly he was doing. There is also a screen for when instructors cook on the stove.

volcano do

He prepared his “volcan-dough” (I seemed to be the only one calling it) effortlessly.

volcano do2Then he used a standard fork to gently beat the eggs into it the flours, creating his firm pasta dough. After a lot of kneading and adding flour, this creates the finished product, which is rolled out thin enough that if you blow under it, it will lift.



After he did a demo on making the pasta, it was time to get cooking. We were assigned tortellini, cappelletti, ravioli and tagliatelle pastas.

suppliesFor this workshop, classmates work in pairs in the training kitchen. I kind of felt like a “Top Chef” contestant myself, since I didn’t know my partner, Cheryl, before this. I felt like we were on a mission to impress the other classmates, so the pressure was on. Luckily, Cheryl is a regular student at NSOCA, so she was able to show me the ropes around the kitchen. The assistants Alyssa and Imran were also very helpful if we had any questions. The students are assigned a different style of pasta with a different sauce and/or filling.

sauceCheryl and I were assigned tagliatelle with a brown butter and rosemary sauce. The fresh ingredients for the sauce was nicely prepared for us.




volcano doughballI know my volcan-dough isn’t as professional looking as Ken’s, but it was also my first one, so go easy on me!







And besides, the end product is what matters, and my doughball was pretty sexy. While Cheryl wrapped our doughboys in cellophane, I finely chopped our rosemary.








brown butter sage sauceThe time came to hop on the stove and get saucy. At a medium-low heat, the butter sauce started as a yellow color, which me a little concerned, cause it’s not the prettiest color. But then, once it cooked more, it turned into a lighter brown, with a cream foam bubbling, which is more appetizing. Whew!


rollingAfter the sauce was made, we let it cool and moved on to rolling out the pasta dough. Oddly enough, this was my favorite part (second to tasting), using the rolling pin made me feel like an honorary Italian Grandma. Rolling is also a great workout, my arms totally feeling like I pumped iron.

After the dough is rolled out thin, it’s time to cut the pasta. I’m already in love with KitchenAid mixers, but I never used the pasta roller attachment.



pasta cuttingIt’s a little tricky cause if the dough moves over to the side, it can throw the cutting off balance. So make sure you’re paying attention when you gently assist it through.




boilAfter the pasta boils in hot salted water and cooked al dente, it was time to taste. While our pasta was certainly the best (I’d be a traitor if I didn’t say that!), the other top two dishes were the tagliatelle with peas in a panchetta sauce and the meat filled raviolis in a marinara sauce.

brown butter pasta

After this workshop, I don’t think I’ll ever buy pasta from the store again! I’m now sold on always making it fresh, cause it really does taste better that way. I cannot wait to take another workshop and get more educated, so I can provide my foodies with more exclusive Girls on Food recipes!

Read more at The New School of Cooking Academy here:

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Actress and Founder of Girls on Food: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know. My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out. I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck. I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz. Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a couple of cooking competition shows as a taster (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel. IMDb page here: For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.


  1. Tara

    August 17, 2015

    Isn’t fresh pasta amazing?? It tastes soooo much better than packaged. Really loved reading this post!

  2. Marji

    August 17, 2015

    I love the chewiness of fresh pasta !!

  3. Ken Lee

    June 15, 2020

    Ken Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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