The guys were raring to go again on Wednesday at the Approved Premises session in Chorlton. A prompt arrival meant that the preparation for our protein-packed pasta dishes got off to a smooth start and came together to form a delightful duo of spaghetti Bolognese and also fusilli in a cheese, mushroom and ham sauce.
The carrots were diced, onions sliced, garlic puréed and mushrooms wiped instead of washing them due to their high water content. Meanwhile, the group discussed the pros and cons of making pasta sauces from scratch as opposed to opening a jar. Of course the timing of the latter appealed, but once someone mentioned the enjoyment you get from ‘actual’ cooking, the remaining guys agreed that this, as well as the knowledge of what’s going into your food, outweighs the convenience option.
Kim pointed out that the combination of ingredients we were using was really versatile: as well as the Bolognese sauce, she named shepherd's pie and lasagne as another a couple of ways to use the same ingredients. The guys were pretty enthused and suggested some of their own, such as pastry-topped pies, dips and chilli con carne. Kim encouraged the group to think about growing their own herbs - on windowsills, should space be an issue - as the guys added fresh thyme to the Bolognese.
They picked up many tips when it came to making the roux sauce, which was lump free and tasted delicious on its lonesome, but combined with the sautéed mushrooms, ham and cheese, absolutely blew their minds. The guys all said that they will cook this dish at home, because they now know how nutritiously satisfying and how simple it is. Both pasta dishes were accompanied by a seasonal winter salad of shredded beetroot and carrots along with shredded kale which was tossed in soy sauce and sesame seeds.