STUDIO CITY ( — Don’t just cook for your kids — cook with your kids!

Chef Natascha Warden from Sur La Table stopped by KCAL9 Thursday to tell us about the restaurant’s “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking classes.

Warden also demonstrated how to make fresh pasta dough and roasted tomato and basil sauce.

Fresh Pasta Dough

Yield: 4 servings

2-1/2 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour or “00” flour, plus more for dusting

1 tablespoon kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Make a “well” in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs and oil, if using. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour mixture, stirring the flour in from the sides of the well and working outwards. When the pasta dough is mixed, put it on a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible but not sticky, adding flour as needed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten. Cover in plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour at room temperature.

To roll dough, attach a pasta machine to the edge of a long countertop. Using a bench scraper, cut dough into thirds. Keep extra dough covered in plastic. Flatten a piece of dough into a rough square that will fit the pasta machine. Place the rollers on the widest setting and roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll with the other. Take the dough and fold into thirds towards the center of the dough. Turn the dough so the open end faces the machine and roll it through on the widest setting again. Fold, turn, and roll once more on the widest setting. Continue rolling the pasta through machine without folding, adjusting the rollers to the next-smallest one each time, until it’s as thin as you want. If the pasta sheet becomes too big to handle, use the bench scraper to cut it into shorter pieces and continue rolling.

Place a cutting attachment on the pasta machine, and flour the pasta sheets. Cut the pasta ribbons. Or you can cut noodles by rolling well-floured pasta sheets into tight cylinders and slicing with a sharp chef’s knife. Place cut noodles in serving-size “nests” onto floured baking sheets, and toss each nest generously with flour to prevent sticking.

Pasta can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 hour before cooking.

To cook pasta, heat a large pot over high heat until boiling. Add enough kosher salt to season the water like sea water. While salted water boils vigorously, add pasta and stir immediately to prevent pasta from sticking. Boil until pasta is al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water, and drain pasta through a colander. Alternately, remove the cooked pasta with a slotted spoon or spider, and reheat water to boiling before cooking another batch.

Roasted Tomato and Basil Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (28 ounce)    can peeled, crushed roasted tomatoes

1 (14 ounce)    can tomato puree

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 large basil leaves, chopped

In a medium saucepan, over medium-heat, heat the oil, oregano and garlic, and cook until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute.

Add peeled crushed tomatoes and tomato puree; use a wooden spoon to stir. Bring the liquids to a boil, then lower heat and simmer.

Stirring occasionally, cook the sauce until thick, about 25 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.  During the last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in the chopped basil.


Leave a Reply