MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN NC’S COOKING LAB

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As a culinary student in Niagara College, I have a chance to participate in HT 109 lab class which provides students with practical cooking experience and under Chef Turchi Oscar‘s supervision. In here, I have oppotunity to learn about so much things such as cutting vegestables, making diffirent sauces or cooking a lot of delicious dishes. But one of NC’s cooking labs that I enjoyed the most is making Pasta on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017.

Here is 3 types of pasta that I have learned:

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Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca has many colorful Italian typical ingredients such as tomatoesolive oilanchoviesolivescapers and garlic. It is so delicious, that it is often hard to believe how easy it really is to put together. Since all the ingredients come straight out of the pantry, you can make it year round whenever you need to throw something together quickly. The story behind this pasta is that it was created by street walkers around Naples, Italy after a long evening at work. It was something they could throw together quickly, it was cheap, as well as being both filling and VERY tasty!

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Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi are various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or with flavourings of herbs, vegetables, cocoa, or prunes. The dough for gnocchi is most often rolled out, then cut into small pieces of about the size of a cork. They are then pressed with a fork or a cheese grater to make ridges which hold sauce. Alternatively, they are simply cut into little lumps. Gnocchi are usually eaten as a replacement for pasta as a first course, but they can also be served as a contorno (side dish) to some main courses.

3. Fettucine with Papalina Sauce Fettucine with Papalina Sauce16114735_988398801294695_4302406114744935790_n

Fettucine with Papalina Sauce

Fettuccine papalina, or “Fettuccine for the Pope”, is an upscale reinterpretation of the earthy spaghetti alla carbonara. The story goes that the dish was prepared for a certain Cardinal Pacelli, soon to become Pope Pius XII, who had asked the owner of a restaurant in the Borgo (the area of Rome that lies between the Vatican and the Tiber River) to make him a more delicate version of the classic Roman dish. So the restauranteur came up with this more refined dish, substituting fettuccine for the usual spaghetti, prosciutto for the guanciale, Parmesan for the pecorino, and adding a splash of cream.

Fettuccine papalina is quite simple and despite being more ‘refined’ is actually easier to make than carbonara.

Overall, the whole experience this week was very overwhelming because I was able to make pasta by hand and met a lot of new peers who come from various countries and cultural background. Futhermore, I learnt a few historical facts and information about the origin of pasta and their complementing sauces.

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After a long day of cooking

Things that cannot be missed about our Chef:

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Chef Oscar Turchi

Turchi’s story begins in Turin, in the Piedmont area of Italy, where he grew up as the youngest of three children in a close-knit, loving family. He spent time in the kitchen with his mother from a very early age, especially on weekends,“When I was six I told my mother I wanted to be a chef,” says Turchi. By the age of 14 Turchi was working in restaurants in his hometown of Torino, Italy. In 1992, he came to Canada and began working in Niagara-on-the-Lake at Ristorante Giardino at the Gate House Hotel then he immigrated. Nowadays with full of experience and skills his reputation as a culinary genius is spreading rapidly throughout Niagara Falls, he even opened his own restaurant called Savoia Gourmet Emporium. He’s a great and warm-hearted chef, we all love him so much and I hope that I will have oppotunity to work with him in future.

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