Monthly Archives: January 2012


Cooking with Nicholas 3

Cooking with Nicholas 3

Like an empty canvas, the blank taste of pasta allows for experimentation with flavours or paint, depending on the artist’s age. Draw upon wells of knowledge with today’s Groupon: for RM88, you get a three-hour pasta making workshop worth RM180 from Cooking With Nicholas in Petaling Jaya.

Within spacious cooking commodes, pasta Padawans learn tips and tricks of lasagna and aglio olio creation from renowned chef, Nicholas Pillai, who will guide them through three informative hours. Ingredients and utensils are provided and apprentices will measure and prepare ingredients themselves and knowledge gained may be used to impress mates or incite jealousy. Hungry graduates should bring two containers to take home Italian goodness, while comfy clothes are a must to stretch pasta limbs and creative juices.

Nicholas Pillai is currently doing a PhD. in Food and Culinary Management and is the co-author of Healthy Eating – Recipes for the Asian Palate. He has written for publications such as Her World, OH Magazine, Clove, websites such as Against The Grain and, as well as the Malaysian Women’s Weekly. He has also provided recipes for Rasa, Nur, Majalah Midi, Parenthink, Ibu dan Ayah, Traverama and Shape.

Class schedule

March 3rd, 2012 (Sat) 2.30 to 5 pm – New Date

March 4th, 2012 9Sunday 2.30 to 5 pm – New Date

Dried Pasta vs Fresh Pasta – My Pasta Aglio Olio with an Asian Twist

I have never been a real fan of pasta, while I would eat it a little but I never crave for pasta, never once.  I do use it as an alternative to rice at times as it does digest more easily but lately I have started to enjoy fresh pasta over dried boxed pasta.  I think the flavor of the pasta is so different, that since doing my pasta class last year and having done 14 classes in one month and a bit, has changed my tastes towards fresh pasta over dried store bought pasta.


I realized how awful store bought pasta was after making Aglio Olio for an order. While these clients regularly order this dish but after not having done it and doing all the fresh pasta classes I did, I just got a shock when I tasted it.  Now I just cannot stomach boxed pasta anymore.  I have tried it several times and it just did not seat well with me.  I’m not being difficult or anything like that but this happens to be the case at the moment.  As most of you who are regulars here know I am quite seasonal.


Also I did a rather nice twist to Pasta Aglio Olio the other day… I know it is rude to bastardize a food but my new take on pasta Aglio Olio was one with Salted Fish with Lemon Grass and Kaffir Leaves.  It was the first to finish at our new years party and everyone was asking for more.  They even wanted to know the brand of pasta I used because it was different.  Well it was fresh pasta.


Fresh pasta can be a pain to make, trust me, I have 100 students from the last class who would agree but the end result if done right is fabulous, and it will change you.  It will even change the Italian restaurants you frequent.


Sadly I do not have a photo of the Aglio Olio with Salted Fish, but I will make some one of these days just to take a photo.  Here is the recipe anyhow


Fresh Pasta  about 600 gms- rolled and cut Fettucine style


Parsley                                     about 150 gms – pluck leaves, wash, drain and chop finely

Garlic                                      100 gms – chopped finely

Chilly                                      3 or 4 – to be sliced thinly

Kaffir Leaves                          6 to be sliced finely

Lemon Grass                           2 to 3 stalks – sliced finely

Salted Fish Fillet                     100 gms or more – the not too dry type – cut into small bits

Butter                                      125 gm

Olive oil                                  ¼ cup

Salt and Pepper to taste




  1. Boil Pasta till Al Dente – Wash through with cold water once it is done.
  2. Heat a pan, add in butter and olive oil
  3. Add in Garlic to sauté.
  4. Add in lemon grass, salted fish and kaffir leaves
  5. Stir on  low heat till salted fish aroma permeates the kitchen
  6. Stir in pasta, toss it around, and add in parsley and chilly.
  7. Stir through and season.
  8. Serve hot.


January 2012 Culinary Classes

This New Year is all about me having to lose weight because of staying away from the gym for far too long.  I just cannot seem to bring myself back to two years ago when I would be the first person at the gym each morning and also in the evening… Something is wrong.. so this month let’s start the ball rolling with something Vegetarian..It’s not often the most healthiest of options but let’s give it a try.

Vegetarian Red Velvet Cupcakes

January 8th Sunday 2 to 5 pm

Learn to make Vegetarian Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Cream Cheese Frosting and a Buttercream Frosting

You will learn all three of the above and then pipe it over your cupcakes.

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Private Class: $350

Oodles of Noodles – Hawker Delights

January 15th Sunday 2 to 5 pm

Learn to make different types of Noodle Dishes. You will learn to make

  1. Curry Laksa
  2. Char Koay Teow
  3. Mamak Mee

Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Private Class: $400

Let’s do Roast Beef and good old Yorkshire Pudding

January 28th Saturday 2 to 5 pm

There’s nothing like roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding.  It was once a poor persons food but not anymore. 

  1. Roast Beef
  2. Yorkshire Pudding
  3. Roasted Potatoes
  4. Broccoli with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nut Dressing

Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 8 students)

Classes will be held at 70 Jalan 14/24 Petaling Jaya, Please check my blog, . Call 016 6827 465 or email for details.

If you have a group of 6 people or more interested in any particular class, please call me to book a day at least ONE week in advance.