Noodling Around: Week 1, Northfield, MN

Young Chefs convened in Northfield last Wednesday after the spring break hiatus. Wednesday’s lesson called for an assortment of delicious pastas. There was homemade spaghetti, ravioli filled with pumpkin, and ravioli filled with greens and mushrooms. All these different types of pastas were topped with a delicious homemade marinara sauce.

To begin, the young chefs broke into smaller groups. One group was in charge of making the pasta dough and feeding it through the pasta roller until it was thin enough to be cut into spaghetti. Another group was in charge of filling the ravioli with their sumptuous ingredients and then pressing them and preparing them for the stove. The last group made the marinara sauce with some olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, and crushed tomatoes. The sauce stewed until some of the water evaporated, leaving a thick yet fluid sauce.

The young chefs had fun with the hands-on cooking. They got to take turns kneading the pasta dough and by the end, many were covered with floury handprints. The sauce spattered as it was poured into the pan and the chefs excitedly tasted the sauce throughout the process. One chef called for more salt, another called for extra herbs, and a third called for the tomatoes to be crushed more thoroughly. At the ravioli station, chefs got to practice putting different fillings in the ravioli. Sometimes there was too much filling and the ravioli burst under the weight. By the end, however, the chefs had perfected their pasta proportions.

Finally, the chefs got to eat their creations. We sat around discussing what we liked, what we didn’t, what we would do differently next time. All in all, everything was very tasty.

Written by Sam Bearak ’17

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