Pastabilities: The Ins and Outs about Pasta

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Practicum in Culinary Arts

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (2) The student develops skills for success in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (E) exhibit productive work habits, ethical practices, and a positive attitude
      • (F) demonstrate knowledge of personal and occupational health and safety practices in the workplace
      • (G) demonstrate the ability to work wit the other employees to support the organization and complete assigned tasks
      • (H) prioritize work to fulfill responsibilities and meet deadlines
      • (J) demonstrate effective verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication skills
      • (K) apply effective listening skills used in the workplace
    • (3) The student demonstrates work ethics, employer expectations, interaction with diverse populations, and communication skills in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (B) demonstrate characteristics of successful working relationships such as teamwork, conflict resolution self-control, and the ability to accept criticism
      • (D) demonstrate respect for the rights of others
      • (F) comply with organizational policies
    • (7) The student uses concepts and skills related to safety in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify and apply safe working practices
      • (B) solve problems related to unsafe work practices and attitudes
    • (10) The student understands the history of food service and the use of the professional kitchen. The student is expected to:
      • (D) analyze how current trends in society affect the food service industry
      • (E) use large and small equipment in a commercial kitchen
      • (F) develop food production and presentation techniques
      • (G) demonstrate moist and dry cookery methods
      • (H) demonstrate food preparation skills used in commercial food service preparations such as breakfast cookery, salads and dressings, soups and sandwiches, stocks and sauces, appetizers, seafood, poultry cookery, meat cookery, pastas and grains, and fruits and vegetables
      • (K) demonstrate proper cleaning of equipment and maintenance of the commercial kitchen
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • differentiate between various types of pasta and their preparation methods
    • demonstrate the technique of making pasta from scratch
    • observe, practice, prepare, and taste various pasta products and recipes
  • Rationale


    Students interested in pursuing a job or career in the food service industry, need to be knowledgeable about pasta and how to prepare and pair the various types with appropriate sauces.

    They must apply and maintain proper food safety measures, as well as know how to safely store both dried and fresh pasta.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

    This topic is a part of a trio covered in the Grains Unit which covers other grains, dumplings, and pasta.

  • Word Wall

    Al dente: “to the tooth” – Pasta should be stopped cooking when it is firm to the bite

    Bean Thread Noodles: Made with mung bean starch

    Cantonese Noodles: A special type of Chinese wheat noodle made by stretching a single large piece of dough in one length until it is as thin as spaghetti

    Chinese Noodles: Are made from flour and water or flour, water and egg

    Couscous: A kind of granular pasta made from semolina flour

    Rice Noodles: Sometimes known as rice sticks

    Semolina: A high protein flour from the inner part of the durum wheat kernels. The best dried pasta is made from this type of flour

    Soba: Thin noodles made with buckwheat in addition to wheat flour

    Udon: Thick white noodles made from wheat flour

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computer lab with internet access
    • digital camera

    Lab Supplies:

    • kitchen utensils and equipment
    • pasta roller or rolling pins
    • recipe ingredients
    • some cooked and uncooked samples of noodles on Pastabilities Vocabulary (see All Lessons Attachment tab)


    • ball for lesson closure
    • list of prepared questions (see lesson closure)
    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Prepare and cook a pasta for use in demonstration. Prep your demonstration area for a pasta demonstration. Set classroom up to view a demonstration.

    Prepare students to take notes during demonstration.

    Demonstrate the creation of quick pasta dough or have pasta already cooked. Slice or dice assorted vegetables. Sautè the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil (demonstrate sauté technique), season the vegetables to taste. Add to the cooked pasta. This will show students how easy pasta is to prepare.

    Ask the students the following questions:

    1. What types of pasta are prepared in your home?
    2. What would you do differently to this “recipe”?
    3. What ingredients would you have added?
    4. What pastas are prepared in other countries?

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Before class begins:

    Using the Pastabilities Vocabulary (see All Lesson Attachments tab), write the vocabulary words on 5 x 7 index cards and tape to wall. Write definitions on separate 5 x 7 index cards.

    Introduce lesson objectives.

    Direct student’s attention to the vocabulary words posted on the wall. Distribute the nine definitions cards to nine students. One at a time, have selected students read their definition to the class. Allow class to match the definition to the correct term. Repeat procedure with all definitions. Post correct responses.

    Check for understanding. Distribute the handout, Pastabilities Vocabulary, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and allow students to fill in the blanks next to the definitions.

    Provide cooked and uncooked examples of some of the noodles noted in the vocabulary list for students to view and sample.

    Introduce the slide show, Pastabilities: The In’s and Out’s about Pasta (see All Lessons Attachments tab) and review the slides. Allow for questions and discussion. Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • working with a peer mentor to complete blank vocabulary note page
    • allowing extra time to complete note page if needed
    • providing a copy of the PowerPoint™ slides

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Demonstrate or show video on how to prepare fresh pasta dough.

    If you don’t have a pasta machine, use rolling pins and hand cut pasta noodles (linguine or fettuccini depending on the width of the cut).

    How to prepare Fresh Pasta – the dough
    Uploaded by academiabarilla on Apr 21, 2008
    Chef Matteo Carboni from the Academia Barilla Culinary School teach us how to make fresh pasta using simple ingredients: flour, eggs and water.

    Select your favorite pasta dough recipe – there are many online.,1-0,pasta_dough,FF.html

    Mis En Place (prepare) your ingredients ahead of time so they are ready for the demonstration. Do not give the students recipes – have them write down the ingredients and the steps. Use the handout, Basic Pasta Dough Recipe Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab). The number of steps that may be used in the notes may vary depending on the recipe chosen.

    Ask for a volunteer to be a “Guest Chef” or draw names from a cookie jar to determine who will demonstrate the pasta recipe. Provide recipe to chef and class. Guide student through the steps as the class observes the “Guest Chef” prepare the pasta.

    Encourage students to participate by referring to cooking shows such as Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart where famous stars prepare their favorite recipes. Ask the “Guest Chef” to tell the class a little about him/herself. Ask questions such as: What extracurricular activities do you participate in, what are your hobbies, etc.

    Alternative Assignment: If unable to prepare fresh pasta,YouTube has several demonstration videos. Locate YouTube website, type “homemade pasta” and click on search. Be sure to preview selected videos.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • working with peer tutor to complete recipe notes
    • repeating instructions
    • checking for understanding
    • allowing students to help with demonstration

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Lab activity:

    Option 1 – Divide the students into groups, and allow them to make fresh pasta dough. If a pasta machine is not available, have students roll the dough with a rolling pin and hand cut with a knife.

    Option 2 – Divide the students into groups and assign a type of pasta. It will be the groups’ task to determine the best sauce for the particular pasta, select a recipe, and prepare the pasta.

    Using a digital camera, have each group takes a picture of their finished pasta product, download picture and send to teacher via email. Create a slide presention of all submitted pictures. Show slide presentation the following class period. Discuss and evaluate various aspects of the dish.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • participating in small groups
    • structured learning environment
    • repeated instructions

  • Lesson Closure

    Before class begins:

    Locate a soft squish ball or create a large wad of paper for oral question and answer strategy. Use the vocabulary and lesson content and prepare a list 10 to 20 higher level questions to use during ball toss activity.

    Review terms, definitions, and objectives.

    Utilized “Pass the Ball” oral question and answer strategy to review vocabulary and lesson content.

    Depending on the size of your class and the space available in your classroom, have students stand in a circle or sit in a conversation circle. Conduct a practice session. Have students pass a soft squish ball or wad of paper, from person to person to their left, as you slowly count to 10. The person holding the ball when you say the word “10” must answer a review question. If they do not know the answer they may select someone else to assist them with the answer. Speed up and slow down you 1-10 count to add to the anticipation. Continue game until all questions are answered.

    Teacher Notes: This variation of the “ball toss” strategy is preferred because it ensures that ALL students participate.
    Distinguish between “aim” and “toss.” Have students unwilling to follow guidelines immediately step back or move their chairs outside of the circle so the review may continue. They become instant observers, unable to interactively participate. Continue with review.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Lab choice 1 Assessment– After the students have prepared the pasta, they will taste/eat the pasta. Each group completes a Pasta Comparison Venn Diagram (see All Lesson Attachments tab) comparing the taste and preparation of fresh pasta to dry pasta.

    Lab choice 2 Assessment- At the end of the cooking lab, all groups meet in a central location with their prepared dish. The groups explain what pasta they used, the sauce they paired it with, and challenges of the lab. After everyone has tasted each group’s pasta, the students discuss what they liked and what could be improved. Each student will will write a 1/2 page reflection on the results of the lab.
    Students will be assessed with the Pasta Quiz (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • extended “wait time”
    • providing encouragement and praise

  • References/Resources


    • Glisslen, Wayne, Professional Cooking, John Wiley & Sons inc., New Jersey, © 2011, Chapter 19
    • Johnson & Wales University, Culinary Essentials, Glencoe/McGraw Hill, © 2002, Chapter 25
    • National Restaurant Association, Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts – Level 1, Prentice Hall, New York, ©2011, Chapter 11, Section 3


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • Word wall
    • Content related visuals
    • Agenda posted
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Students will use the internet to find e-zine articles on pasta, to be read electronically. The two websites below are two pasta e-zine articles. Pre-reading strategies such as “predicting” can be utilized before reading the articles. Once the articles have been read, have students summarize their findings. KWL charts may also be created for the articles.

  • Quotes

    No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires much attention.
    -Christopher Morley

    Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.
    -Sophia Loren

    I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘cooking’ but I can make noodles. That means I can boil water, put the pasta in and wait until it’s done.
    -Devon Werkheiser

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Pastabilities: The Ins and Outs about Pasta

    Technology Connection:

    • Digital Camera: Each group takes a picture of their finished pasta product, downloads and submit to teacher via email. Create slide presentation with all submitted pictures.
    • Skype Chef: Locate a chef that has the ability to skype with your classroom. Have them present an interactive demonstration with your students.


    • Academia Barilla
      The first premier culinary center dedicated to the development and promotion of Italian Gastronomic Culture in the world.
    • Delallo – Traditional Italian Food
      The George DeLallo Company was founded with the ideals of offering true authentic Italian foods with integrity and consistency.
      Authentic Italian Sauce recipes and pasta information.
    • The Lunch Box
      Healthy Tools to Help All Schools
      The Lunch Box Videos is a library including everything from culinary techniques to interviews about school food change.


    • How to prepare Fresh Pasta – the dough
      Uploaded by academiabarilla on Apr 21, 2008
      Chef Matteo Carboni from the Academia Barilla Culinary School teach us how to make fresh pasta using simple ingredients: flour, eggs and water.
    • How to prepare fresh pasta: Traditional Italian tools
      Uploaded by academiabarilla on Apr 22, 2008
      Chef Matteo Carboni from the Academia Barilla Culinary School teach us how to make fresh pasta from dough, using traditional Italian pasta tools.

    files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • Basic Pasta Dough Recipe Notes
    • Pasta Comparison


    • Pastabilities Vocabulary
    • Pasta Quiz
  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • Write five complete sentences describing your favorite pasta dish to someone who has never eaten it before.
    • Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting dry pasta to fresh pasta.
    • Write a reflection following the completion of a lab.

    Writing Strategy:

    • Descriptive writing on pasta shapes and which one is best for red or white sauce.
    • Compare and contrast paragraph on fresh or dried pasta.
    • Summary Paragraph – see reading strategy.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • For each group’s pasta recipe: Explain what was made, how it was made it, the ingredients used, what went well, and an evaluation of the product.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Select and research a type of pasta. Provide history, country of origin, preparation techniques, and two recipes.

    Place different varieties of dry pasta on plates on tables. Give students Post-it™ notes or piece of paper. Provide a list of pastas. Have students try to identify each by writing the name on the paper or Post-it™ and placing it next to the selected pasta. Discuss how they made their decisons, ex. content clues, prior knowlege. etc. Correctly identify each pasta.

    This lesson has discussed Italian pasta and Chinese pasta. Conduct research to find pasta from another country. Create a poster, and prepare a pasta recipe from the selected country and share with the class.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Plan and promote a “Take Home” pasta entreé to sell to the teachers and school district employees. This lesson will teach students how to prep, package, and write technical directions for the customer.

  • CTSO connection

    Family Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events:

    • Culinary Arts – A team event – recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment.
    • Food Innovations – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts of food product development by creating an original prototype formula, testing the product through focus groups, and developing a marketing strategy.
    • Illustrated Talk – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who make an oral presentation about issues concerning Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations. Participants use visuals to illustrate content of the presentation.
    • Life Event Planning – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who apply skills learned in Family and Consumer Sciences courses to manage the costs of an event.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Select a non-profit organization/shelter that provides meals for homeless teens. Investigate possiblity of students preparing, delivering and servring a hot pasta dish.

  • All Attachments