The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

I recently had the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Learn to make pasta from scratch. I was invited to an event promoting the upcoming movie Book Club – The Next Chapter. What does that have to do with pasta? A lot. It stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. They’re four best friends who take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. Book Club – The Next Chapter hits theaters on May 12th.

Pebbles in a restaurant kitchen next to a sign of the movie poster for Book Club - The Next Chapter. Also holding a bag that reads "Slightly scandalous. Totally Fabulous"

Pebbles at a pasta-making class at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville to celebrate the upcoming movie Book Club – The Next Chapter.

 

Back to making pasta from scratch! The class was held at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville. The shop has, of course, fresh pasta, as well as: delicious sandwiches, yummy cheeses, an incredible wine selection, and more. You can check out more about the menu and store. They also offer catering and classes, which is what I took.

Our instructor was Chef Jason, who was an extraordinary host and teacher. He was fun and interesting and informative and supportive. In the class, we learned how to not only make spaghetti and fettucine, but ravioli and tortellini. I loved making them all, but I felt so accomplished nailing tortellini.

Picture of Chef Jason at Dave's Fresh Pasta rolling out dough in a pasta machine. He's wearing a black baseball hat and a black chef's jacket

Chef Jason from Dave’s Fresh Pasta rolling out dough in a pasta-making class.

It was really eye-opening how simple the process was. I mean, it’s flour and eggs. As Chef Jason told us, all you really need is for someone to teach you the process and how the dough is supposed to feel. Once you do that, you can make pasta! He’s so right. I left there confident that I would be able to have family and friends come over and make pasta for them. He also shared how he “whipped together” a delicious marinara sauce, as well as a brown butter and sage sauce. Heavenly!

Pebbles holding up some fresh made fettucine surrounded by other class participants

Pebbles surrounded by fellow “chefs” in pasta-making class.

It felt so great stirring and kneading and pressing the dough. It felt meditative and soothing and fun. As I reflected on the night later, I realized that in addition to learning how to actually make pasta, I learned some great lessons as well. Here’s what I discovered.

  • Cooking is great therapy

    My mother loves to work in her garden and do yardwork. She has always said that it’s her therapy. After taking pasta class, I have to say that I found making it from scratch very therapeutic. I felt like it made me slow down and focus on one thing which is something that a lot of us have a hard time doing these days. I felt happy and relaxed when were done.

    Stainless steel bowl with flour and two raw eggs in the middle

    The well of flour and eggs just before starting to whisk it together to make the dough.

  • All food has a story

    One the the greatest parts of the class was Chef Jason’s stories. He apologized a couple times for mentioning his grandmother so much, but for me, that was one of the absolute highlights of the class. Hearing how she would lay out her pasta on a sheet on the bed was the kind of story I never knew I needed.

    Chef Jason sprinkles flour on some pasta dough

    Chef Jason sprinkles some flour on the dough he’s working with.

  • A great teacher makes all the difference

    Chef Jason was a fabulous teacher. He made it easy-to-follow, interactive, interesting, and delicious. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. You can tell he really loves what he does, and we all loved the experience.

    Chef Jason wearing all black surrounded by five students in a pasta class. Various pasta ingredients on the table.

    Chef Jason (in black) surrounded by his student “chefs” at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville.

  • Food truly is love

    People always say that you can feel the difference in food made with love. I truly believe that. After we put in a lot of care making our pasta, I could feel the love in each strand of spaghetti, and pillow of ravioli. And just like any great love story, there was a lot of consideration, attention, and joy put into the process.

    Chef Jason dressed in all black piping filling onto a piece of pasta dough for ravioli

    Chef Jason pipes some butternut squash filling onto a some pasta dough to make ravioli.

  • For great results, apply pressure

    We all go through tough times, and although they’re not fun, there’s usually something positive that comes out of it. Even if it’s to make us stronger. Spending time kneading the pasta dough and running it through the press, reaffirmed that belief. It was a labor of love with delicious results. I was amazed at the beautiful results we got, just from applying a little pressure.

    Chef Jason dressed all in black demonstrating how to knead the pasta dough by pressing the heel of your hand onto it.

    Chef Jason demonstrates how to knead the pasta dough by pressing the heel of your hand onto it.

  • Trust your instincts

    When Chef Jason started, he told us that we weren’t going to learn by specific instructions or recipes. We were going to learn by feel. We used our instincts when it came to whisking the flour and eggs, when to start kneading, when we needed more flour, and when the dough felt ready to put through the roller. Chef Jason was right, I now know exactly how my dough should feel.

    Chef holding a sheet of pasta with hand toward his mouth and pasta class student watching on.

    Chef Jason explains the feel of pasta as class member Colton looks on.

  • Keep it simple

    Most of us are over-consumers. We buy too much, keep too much, and have very cluttered lives. Or maybe that’s just me. As someone who has been trying to declutter their closet for months, one of the things that drives me crazy is a food item that has at least 8 different toppings on it. Whether it’s a burger, pizza, or a sandwich, some places just do too much. It was so exciting to see what we were able to make with a few simple ingredients. Trust me, keeping it simple is the way to go. When it comes to food, and life.

    Pebbles hand holding some freshly made strands of fettucine

    Pebbles holding the finished product. Some freshly pressed and cut fettucine.

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