Pasta Social Club x The Jewish Studio
Sunday, April 11 | 3pm Central / 4pm Eastern


Serves 2-4
300 grams (2 cups) semolina or semola rimacinata flour
150 ml (⅔ cup) warm water
More semolina flour, for dusting

Serves 4-6
450 grams (3 cups) semolina or semola rimacinata flour
225 ml (1 cup) warm water
More semolina flour, for dusting

Large mixing bowl
Butter knife
Bench scraper or sharp knife
Wooden cutting board or surface
Gnocchi board, cheese grater, sushi mat, zester, or any sturdy textured surface
Baking sheet
Plastic wrap




–        4 cups medium diced yellow onion (approximately 2-3 medium onions)

–        2 cups medium diced red peppers (approximately 2 peppers)

–        2 cups medium diced tomato (approximately 2 medium tomatoes)

–        2 cloves garlic (sliced)

–        1 can crushed tomato or tomato p

–        1 t ground cumin

–        1 t ground corriander

–        ½ t smoked paprika

–        Salt and black pepper to taste

–        4-6 Tablespoons canola (or vegetable) oil

–        4 eggs


–        Chef’s knife

–        Cutting board

–        Measuring spoons

–        Measuring cups

–        Kitchen spoon

–        Rubber spatula

–        Large saute pan (or cast iron pan or Dutch oven)


1.     Gently heat the saute pan over medium heat.

2.     Add 4 Tablespoons of oil, onions, a pinch of salt, and cook (sweat) until the onions are translucent.

3.     Once the onions are translucent and soft, add the peppers and garlic and cook until soft.

4.     Add the cumin and corriander and toast for approximately 1 minutes.

5.     Add the tomatoes and cook the tomatoes until they release their liquid.

6.     Bring to the liquid to the boil, reduce to the simmer, and cook until the liquid reduces by half.

7.     Add the chopped tomato and simmer until the color darkens and the liquid reduces by approximately 10%.

8.     Add the smoked paprika and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Cavatelli taste great with anything, but here are my recommendations:

Chef Susan Barocas



Anchusa can be made thicker and more substantial like a casserole (or kugel) or thin and crispy. The onions, cooked to golden deliciousness, are critical here, so don’t skimp and feel free to add even more. The thinner version makes a very tasty, gluten-free pizza crust or  appetizers ready for toppings when cut into small pieces.

2 16-ounce bags frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large or 3 medium onions, diced

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup matzo farfel or 1 1/2 sheets matzah, crumbled into small pieces (optional)

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste

1/2 cup shredded kashkaval* or sharp white cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Open the bags of defrosted spinach into a strainer set in the sink and let drain there or over a large bowl. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté onions, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Turn down the heat if the onions are cooking too quickly; they should caramelize, not get crispy dark brown.

As the onions cook, squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach with your hands or the back of a large spoon. When the spinach is well-squeezed, put it in a large mixing bowl. Use a large spoon to mix in the fried onions. When well combined, add the beaten eggs, farfel or matzo pieces if using, salt and pepper and stir until everything is very well blended.

If using cheese, stir it into the mixture now before baking. Another option is to add the cheese to the top of the anshusa during last 10-15 minutes of baking.

Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 9×9-inch baking dish or, for thinner, crispier results, on a 9×13-inch baking dish ir rimmed baking sheet. Heat the oiled baking dish or sheet in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes. When the pan is very hot, take it out of the oven and quickly spoon the mixture into the baking dish, hearing it sizzle. This will help ensure a crusty bottom. Pat the mixture so it’s evenly distributed with a smooth top. Bake according to how thick the mixture is until turning golden brown and crusty, about 45 minutes as a casserole, 30-35 in the baking sheet. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold.

* Kashkaval is a hard sheep’s cheese from the Balkans, available at specialty markets and some Middle Eastern markets.

Prep ahead

·       Defrost spinach and put in a strainer over a large bowl

·       Dice onions


·       Cutting board

·       6- to 8-inch knife for dicing

·       Strainer (preferably not a colander as the spinach can fall through the holes)

·       2 large mixing bowls

·       Metal or wooden spoon

·       12-inch sauté pan (or 10-inch if that’s what you have)

·       9×9-inch baking dish, or 9×12-inch baking dish or rimmed baking sheet


Leek and Potato Casserole


Quajado (kuajado in Ladino)—aka sfongato, asfongato, almodrote, frittata—is traditionally made with vegetables, eggs and cheese, although the cheese can be left out to create a non-diary dish. The dish is served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, as a main course or a side. Because it holds up well to cutting and is enjoyable served at room temperature as well as hot, it’s also a good side dish, buffet offering or, when cut into small squares, an appetizer. Satisfying any time, quajado is especially popular at Passover when eating leeks is part of the Sephardic tradition. It works best to use starchy potatoes that mash well.

4-5 large Russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 pounds)

6 to 7 leeks (3-3 1/2 pounds)

1 large or 2 medium carrots, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

5 large eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon salt (less if using feta or another salty cheese)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste

3/4 cup crumbled feta or shredded hard cheese such as parmesan or kashkaval* (optional)

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil

Peel and cut potatoes into even pieces about 1” in size. Set aside in a bowl of cold water.

Cut off dark green tops of the leeks and save for making vegetable stock. (Wash and store in the freezer until ready to use.) Cut off the roots at the very end of each leek. Pull off a couple of the tough outer layers of the leek, wash and save for stock. Split each leek lengthwise and then cut across into half-inch pieces, resulting in 8-9 cups of leek pieces. Place in a strainer and wash well under cold water. Set the strainer into a large bowl and fill with cold water. Swish the leek pieces with your hand, then let stand a few minutes so the dirt settles the bottom of the bowl. Lift out the strainer and rinse again under cool running water. Toss and mix the leeks, checking for remaining dirt. If needed, rinse the bowl well and repeat the process.

Place a steamer basket into a very large pot with a few inches of water that does not come over the bottom of the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and put the potato pieces in the basket first, then the leeks on top. (By steaming, you eliminate a lot of the moisture the leeks get from boiling.) Cover the pot, turn the heat to medium low and let the potatoes and leeks cook about 20 minutes until both are soft.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

 Put the cooked leeks and potatoes into a large mixing bowl and mash together very well. Mix in the shredded carrots if using. Add the beaten eggs, salt, pepper and cheese and stir to combine well.

Swirl 2 tablespoons oil in a 9×12-inch glass baking dish, then place it in the hot oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Heating the pan with the oil helps create a crust on the bottom and sides of the casserole. Once the baking dish is hot, carefully remove it from the oven. Working quickly, pour in the leek-potato mixture and spread it out evenly, patting the top smooth. Lightly brush the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Bake, uncovered, for about 45-50 minutes, or until the center is firm and the edges golden brown.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting, if serving immediately. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cooked quajado can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 weeks. To serve, defrost and heat in a 350-degree oven, covered for the first 10 minutes, then uncovered for another 10 minutes or until heated through.

Note: Other vegetables can be used in various combinations totaling 3 to 4 cups including raw shredded zucchini (salt lightly, let stand for 15-20 min, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible), blanched chopped spinach (also with liquid squeezed out) or roasted, drained and mashed eggplants.

Questions, comments, feedback? Contact me at

Tag and follow me on Instagram @susanbarocas and Facebook


Prepare for Our Workshop

·      Assemble your ingredients and prepare a clean work surface (including a mixing bowl, fork, a rolling pin and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper).

·      We highly recommend that you pre-measure ingredients and clean and chop vegetables before we begin.

Kreplach Recipe

Makes about 30 kreplach

Ingredients for the dough:

·      1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (all purpose gluten free flour works too), plus more as needed

·      ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

·      1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil

·      ½ cup to ¾ cup hot water

To make the dough:

·      In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the oil and hot water (starting with ½ cup water and adding more as needed). Stir gently to form a dough. Using your hands, knead to form a soft, smooth ball. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour. Set aside, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.

To assemble the kreplach:

·      Take half the dough and roll it out on a well-floured surface; keep the other half covered to avoid drying. The dough should be rolled out as thin as possible, without breaking.

·      Cut out rounds using a glass. Keep your surface well-floured to prevent the kreplach from sticking.

·      Place ½ teaspoon of the filling in the center of each krepl (yes, that’s the singular). Work quickly or the dough will dry out. Do not overstuff. Fold the dough into half moons (or get fancy as we’ll show you). Repeat the process with the remaining dough, putting the finished kreplach on a baking sheet and keeping them in the freezer until you are ready to cook and serve.

Ingredients for the mushroom filling:

  • 4 tsp olive oil, plus a little bit more

  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced small

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, de-stemmed, diced small

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (dried is ok, but reduce quantity to 1 tsp)

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Sour cream for serving fried or vegetable broth for serving in soup (optional)

To make the mushroom filling:

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan. Sauté onions until translucent, add mushrooms and 2 cloves garlic, herbs and red pepper flakes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are shriveled and have released juices, but before they crisp up or burn.

  • Taste and adjust seasonings and salt to your liking. Let cool slightly before filling and folding dumplings.

Bonus (optional!) 2nd Filling

For the Spinach and onion filling:

·      ½ tablespoon olive oil

·      1 medium onion, sliced

·      3 ounces spinach, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

·      1 large egg

·      ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

·      ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

To make the bonus spinach and onion filling:

·      In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft and caramel in color, about 15 minutes. Add the spinach in batches and cook until it has wilted, about 5 minutes. Let the spinach-onion mixture cool slightly, then transfer it to a food processor and add the egg, lemon juice, and salt. Process until a smooth paste is formed.

Recipe adapted from The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz (Flatiron Books, 2016). All Rights reserved.

Jeweled Rice

What could be more beautiful and enticing than delicately spiced rice adorned with little jewels of dried fruit and sparkling pomegranate seeds? It is little wonder that Persian Jews traditionally serve large platters of jeweled rice, called morasa polo, at weddings and other joyous occasions

Advance prep. Please come to class with the following steps completed:

– Finely chopped onion (onion can be cut up to 1 day in advance and stored in a Tupperware in the fridge)

– Toast the almonds and pistachios following step 1. Cool and store in a Tupperware until class.


Serves 8

¼ cup (30 g) sliced or slivered almonds

¼ cup (30 g) unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon saffron, crumbled

¼ cup (60 ml) boiling water

2 cups (400 g) basmati rice, soaked in water for 15 minutes and then drained

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (90 g) dried apricots, very thinly sliced

½ cup (70 g) dried cherries or cranberries, roughly chopped

½ cup (70 g) golden or black raisins

½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

½ cup (85 g) fresh pomegranate seeds, for serving (optional)

  1. In a small dry frying pan, toast the almonds and pistachios over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Set aside.

  1. In a small heatproof bowl, stir together the saffron and boiling water, set aside.

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until halfway tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  1. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Add the salt, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cardamom, and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the apricots, cherries, golden raisins, and orange zest. Remove from heat and set aside.

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Spread half of the parboiled rice on the bottom and cover with the onion and fruit mixture, then the remaining rice. Let cook, undisturbed, until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a chopstick to poke several deep holes in the rice to help steam escape as the rice cooks. Drizzle the saffron-water mixture over the rice. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

  1. Transfer the rice and onion/dried fruit mixture to a wide serving bowl and gently mix to combine. Use a spatula to carefully remove the bottom crust of rice from the pot and place on top. Serve hot, sprinkled with the toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds, if using.

Chocolate Dipped Figs

Serves 4

This is a magical dish is ridiculously simple one to prepare. The sprinkle of sea salt brings everything together. If you can’t find dried Calimyrna figs, substitute lack Mission figs — or your favorite variety.

2 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, roughly chopped

12 dried Calimyrna figs

Flaky sea salt for dusting

1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water or in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, at 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval.

2. Use your fingers to reshape any figs that were flattened in their package. Dip the rounded bottom half of each fig in the melted chocolate and lay on the figs on their sides on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each fig bottom with a little sea salt. Refrigerate figs until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.