Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Now I know how congressmen feel: making sausage

Pasta poured forth in the Culinary Foundations III classroom kitchen today, along with a half-dozen versions of link sausage.

At our station, we encased two kinds of the cured meat -- Swedish potato sausage and andouille. Both were delicious, and there was enough to take home. (Photo shows the Swedish potato sausage in the lower left, the andouille in the upper right.)

We also jammed through the making of three pasta dishes in 90 minutes, using freshly made pasta and other ingredients.

First was butternut squash and ricotta ravioli, fried and served with a marinara sauce. I had made that very sauce the night before at home, so I knew that getting it on the stovetop early to intensify the flavors was the key.

Second was fettucini served with a parsley pesto and one link of the andouilli that had been blanched and sautéed with onions and red bell pepper.

Third was pappardella -- 3/4-inch wide pasta noodles -- served with a mushroom cream sauce and sauté of chicken.

The action was hectic, almost frantic, in getting the dishes plated on schedule. Each had its special elements and flavors, and each was completed with satisfaction.

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