12 February 2013

GUEST BLOG: Discovering the sauce

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

Today was the fourth session at Benchill Primary School and three families joined us again this week - it was great to see familiar faces. On the menu was fusilli pasta and two different sauces, which we made from scratch: a basic tomato sauce and a cheese sauce with mushrooms and ham.

Chopping of red onions and garlic began, and these were cooked in oil with oregano, before we added chopped tinned tomatoes, water and tomato puree. This was reduced down to thicken it, then seasoning was added - it’s as easy as that to make a healthy, colourful, simple tomato sauce or ragu!

Next it was time to prepare the cheese sauce. Finely diced red onions were fried in oil with chopped garlic.  The heat was reduced then we added butter and stirred in flour, before whisking in milk gradually so as to let it thicken. Mustard was added for additional flavour, then last but not least some grated cheese. Sliced mushrooms were fried and strips of ham were cut with scissors (below), and these were added to the cheese sauce for the finished product.

 With the pasta boiling, we had time to set the table before dishing up and sitting down to eat. The two sauces offered a perfect combination of colours, flavours and textures, and both were delicious and quite a feast! As we dug in, we chatted about how inexpensive the servings were, and compared the cost to shop-bought jars of pasta sauce. The basic tomato sauce with pasta was just 32p per serving while the ham, mushroom and cheese sauce with pasta came in at £1.25 per serving - cheap as well as cheerful!

And as well as learning some new dishes and enjoying a tasty, healthy meal, each family was given a goody bag containing a mix of herbs and spices and a selection of fresh ingredients to inspire them to try the recipes they've learnt over the past month again at home. Cracking Good Food look forward to another series of cooking sessions with Benchill Primary School soon! 

There are more photographs from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page: click here

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