Image courtesy of ATS educator Brigitte Evariste
First of all: hi. How are you all doing? Now more than ever, it’s so important to check in with one another, even if we’re strangers indirectly communicating over the internet.
Over the course of the past six weeks, the Allergic to Salad team has been hard at work transitioning our classes over to a virtual platform, where students cook along with ATS educators in real time. Even though we miss being with them in the classroom, it’s the highlight of all our days to interact with our students in their homes. Cats, lizards, dogs, parents, and siblings have all made cameos. Some tech-savvy youngsters switch their backgrounds to images of pickles, piranhas, or the Golden Gate Bridge. We’ve even taken breaks for meditation and dance parties. It’s been incredibly fun, to say the least!
One of our most popular recipes thus far has been homemade pasta with can-o-tomato sauce. While the process may sound a little intimidating, all you really need to make your own noodles from scratch is flour, water, salt, and a bit of oil. From there, you can transform your dough into any shape you desire. Chefs Brigitte and Rachel opted to make theirs into classic thick noodles, but you could turn yours into hearts, stars, circles, or even flowers with some cookie cutters. Check out some of the fun shapes Chef Christine whipped up for a party last year!
Sadly, it’s not tomato season quite yet, but we’ve transformed a pantry staple into an easy, tasty sauce that even a toddler can help prepare. Use whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand — whole are great so your little chef can practice their knife skills, but diced are also a great option. Fresh garlic is fun to play with, so if you have it, please use it! The pasta below was made by Theresa, the five year-old daughter of Chef Rachel. An ATS educator in the making!
Image courtesy of ATS educator Rachel Sardina
Mac, Squash N' Cheese
Mac, Squash N' Cheese
- 2 tbsp Olive oil, for roasting
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk at room temperature
- 2 cups grated, aged sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
Mac, Squash N' Cheese
Cook the squash either by roasting or steaming. If roasting, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss cubed squash with olive oil and spread evenly across a baking sheet. Roast until tender and squash has begun to caramelize, 25 to 45 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on how large or small your squash cubes are cut. If steaming, heat large pot with ½” inch or so of water. Add squash to steaming basket and steam, covered, until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Squash is ready when it is tender enough to easily poke with a fork, but still firm enough to hold it’s shape.
Once squash is cooked, place into a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. (If using canned squash or pumpkin puree, omit the first two steps.)
Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10-12 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, in another pot over medium heat, melt butter then add onion, garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour, cooking for about 3 minutes. Then stir in milk and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and begin mixing handfuls of cheese into the milk, stirring in until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. Stir in butternut squash puree.
Add in mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Adjust seasonings and add salt to taste. Add the cheese/butternut squash sauce to pasta until the macaroni is sufficiently coated. Heat until warm. Serve immediately while hot!
Want to learn how to make this and other delicious dishes? Sign up for one of our Open Community Classes! Kids 5 and up can participate without adult supervision, and in just an hour, your family will have a delicious, wholesome meal prepared by your young chef. What better time to pick up some valuable life skills and hone culinary chops?
We hope you all are staying safe and well. We can’t wait to see you soon, whether that’s online or in the classroom.
The Allergic to Salad Team