Friday, October 16, 2009

RYH Pasta Demo with Executive Sous Chef Babak Nasser

Executive Sous Chef Babak Nasser
Our Executive Sous Chef Babak Nasser is brilliant with Italian Cuisine. When he decided to perform a community in-house service and do a demo for us cooks about the formalities of his passion, a lot of people took notice.
Chef Beginning.
Suspiciously quiet and attentive cooks.

A couple fine points of interest; The subtlety of garlic. Above, chef has brought the olive oil and crushed cloves of garlic to a saute for about one minute before removing the garlic completely, it has done it's job.
As well, note the amount of olive oil used (this is going to be a Pomodoro Sauce).

The last 20%. The pasta should be blanched a la minute, cooked 80% in seasoned water, transferred to the sauce to finish (Reserving the liquid). This is demonstrated above.

Orecchiette Con Cime Di Rapa

-Two particulars of note;
a) The use of Anchovy as a seasoning was perfect, b) The intense green generated purely because it was made to order. What a difference.

From left, Pomodoro -Olive Oil, Garlic (Removed) Basil, Tomato, Salt, Black Pepper
Right, Guanciale for the Amatriciana Sauce in Olive Oil

The beginning efforts of the Amatriciana Sauce (Note, no Garlic)
-Guanciale, Julienne Onion, Olive Oil, Tomato, Chili Pepper, Parsley

The Spaghetti Al Pomodoro being finished.
In regard to the tomato based sauces, as a finish, Olive Oil was used, giving a pleasant shine to the final product.

Spaghetti Al Pomodoro

Amatriciana Sauce

Left - Amatriciana Sauce
Right- Pomodoro (Soon to be with Melanzane!)

One of the greatest methods at our disposal is the re-use of the blanching liquid. Here, the cook strains the 80% finished Penne, to be finished in the sauce, then he holds the seasoned liquid to adjust the moisture content of the final product before serving.

Penne Al'Amatriciana

Chef Babak, and the inconspicuous beginning of cream sauce.

It was at this point I was stunned to see how simple it was. Nothing he created had any wine in it! Why put an acid with an acid?
This cream sauce (as a final product) had everything I had always strained for in my cream sauce; body, viscosity, depth, richness, flavour, but this was only 35% Cream, Parmeasan Reggiano, Porcini, and Seasoning! NO GARLIC!
I took a step back and realized my lesson on subtlety of ingredients and the action of less can be (a lot!) more.

As mentioned previously, the blanching water is perfect to adjust the moisture content of the pasta.

Rigatoni Con Melanzane E Pomodoro

A sampling of the Culinary Brigade of the RYH listening to Chef Babak.

The last preparations of the Tagliatelle dish.

Tagliatelle Al Porcini
Having had a been a part of a great demonstration, sampled five pasta dishes, experienced one or two culinary epiphanies, I am amazed with what I picked up today... though now more so, I look forward to the fresh pasta demo...

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