I Joined A Pasta Making Class In SG As A Pasta Lover And Came Out A Pasta Snob


Syahirah Mazlan •  Dec 23, 2022

How passionate are you about pasta? Passionate enough to know how to make it from scratch? I certainly don’t, and I’m a hardcore pasta lover! ? Some foods just taste better once you learn the fundamentals behind its creation. On regular days, I often enjoy the convenience of boxed pasta but when Chef Imran announced his weekend pasta making workshop (with A Mano SG), I knew I had to join to find out what the hype behind fresh pasta was all about. 

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I didn’t think of myself to be the type of person to sign up for a cooking class or workshop but here I was standing in front of HZ Culinary, a cooking school in Bugis. As I nervously entered the studio, I was greeted by Chef Imran, who calls himself a culinary and pasta nerd. For the uninitiated, Chef Imran is a trailblazer in Nusantara cuisine within halal private dining. Interestingly, Chef Imran had taken a liking to pasta making when Covid was at its peak 2 years ago and has become quite the pasta artist! ? 

His cheerful personality and passion for food is a refreshing breath of air for us who came to destress after a long work week. A little while later his assistant (or protégé as he calls her), Nur greets me. ? The two were very friendly and welcoming, instantly putting my nerves at ease. 

We chatted for a bit and were offered some tea and coffee along with some freshly homemade focaccia bread for some light bites before the class started. Chef Imran baked it himself with capsicums, tomatoes and various herbs and cheese. Being a really big fan of bread, I've eaten plenty in my life but that very focaccia was so incredibly delicious - it was fluffy, cheesy and super flavourful. ? There was even a dip to go with the bread and the Chef made us guess what it was made of. From curry to dhaal, we took a few turns guessing what the main ingredient was and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it was actually eggplant! Who would’ve guessed that an eggplant could be that delicious and savoury?

The Chef taught us two types of pastas - one made with egg and one without. In total we were going to make three different pasta types - farfalle (a bow-shaped pasta), garganelli (a tube-like rolled pasta), and cappelletti (a ring-shape pasta that looks like a hat, typically has filling inside it)! ? At the start, I wondered if we would have enough time to prepare that many types of pasta but seeing how the Chef and Nur had set up each of our stations so carefully and meticulously, I was determined to do my best. 

Did you know that all you need to make egg pasta is 100 grams of flour to one egg (about 50 grams)? I know, I really couldn't believe it was that simple either! ? Here comes the crafty part, we pour the floor onto a flat surface in a pile and use our fingers to make a hole in the center (make sure it’s wide!). Then crack an egg into the hole and use a fork to gradually gather the floor from the middle into the pool of egg and start mixing the two until you get a thick and sticky paste, which you can then knead using your hands!

Even for someone who has a difficult time following step-by-step instructions, the class was really engaging and easy to follow! Once you get the hang of it, you won’t even break a sweat rolling the pasta dough through the machine four to seven times for each batch (YES four to seven times for each lump of dough). ? While kneading and rolling the dough were relatively simple to follow, the whole process was quite intensive. As we pasta newbies started to get tired and get jittery, Chef Imran tells us about how 90-year-old Italian Nonnas (grandmothers) would stand for hours to make fresh pastas. That was all the motivation we needed because everyone suddenly perked up and started focusing once more. ? The art of pasta making is truly a labour of love.

P.S. Nothing went to waste! We used the scraps and leftover dough to make even more pasta. #WasteFree

Nearing the end of the class, Chef Imran prepared some pasta dishes with the freshly made pasta for us to enjoy. It was fascinating to watch a professional at work! All I was thinking was, “WOW I’m going to get to try some food made by a REAL chef!” ? We got front row seats to watch Chef Imran cook live and it was truly an exciting experience. He showed us three different ways to cook the various pasta types that we had just finished making and even gave us tips on how to best prepare each meal. 

The pasta dishes were so good! ? I was really intrigued by the science behind why fresh pasta always tastes better! The “wrinkles” that form on the pasta’s surface when we rolled out the dough from the machine helped the sauce hold onto the pasta which made it taste so much more flavourful than the typical boxed pasta. I personally think that Chef Imran's pasta dishes are the best pasta in Singapore! I don’t think I can look back now!

We were even able to bring home some braised lamb sauce along with our freshly made pasta and a huge A Mano SG tote bag to hold all our goodies! ? The Chef was truly generous with his tips, goodies and recipes. He even sent us the full recipe for all the dishes we learnt through email!

One of the things I really like about the experience is that it didn’t feel like I was in a cooking class. It felt more like individual pasta lovers coming together and learning the art from someone who is skillful in the art of cooking! ? Many thanks to Chef Imran and Nur for having us and teaching us a new skill and experience. 

P.S. Check out more of Chef Imran’s workshops and class on his Instagram page (@chefimransg | @a_mano_sg)!