11 May 2012

GUEST BLOG: Pasta times

By guest blogger TRACEY

A controversial mix of flavours were used this Wednesday (9 May) at the Approved Premises session and some weren't to everyone’s taste!

Anchovies, olives and capers were used to create Puttanesca – a spicy, tangy and somewhat salty Italian pasta dish. Alison assured us that the anchovies, which were already wee, would melt into the sauce (they did), and that the capers would give a balanced saltiness to the dish (which they did), and that the olives were chopped to ‘re-moveable sized’ chunks – which I did! The group familiarised themselves through taste and smell with the ingredients before cooking, resulting in some participants being under keen on trying the end result. Once the cooking started and the aroma of the plum tomatoes, garlic, chilli, and peppers filled the room, however, the reluctance to try abated and eagerness to finish the dish grew.

The sauce simmered to reduce, whilst the group began making a cheese and ham sauce (above) for their second dish. A fairly strong cheese was used and some delicious thinly sliced ham was ribboned. The group were quite content savouring the smell of the fried mushrooms and onions, taking time to note Alison’s tip of frying the mushrooms down to avoid increasing the water content in the cheese sauce. Freshly chopped parsley and the juice of a lemon were added to the Puttanesca sauce then combined with al dente penne pasta. The cheese sauce was combined with the mushroom and onion mix, then added to cooked thick ribboned pasta. The end result was wonderful and enhanced in texture with Alison’s fresh tomato, lettuce, cucumber and grated carrot salad dressed in olive oil and lemon with crunchy sesame and sunflower seeds mixed through. We all sat and ate together to enjoy the fruit of everyone’s labours.

More photos from this session can be viewed on our Facebook page. Click here to be redirected.

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