Winter Squash Carbonara with Emma’s Eatery was a hit! With 56 households participating there was lots of questions, discussions and new things to learn from our favourite catering Chef, Emma Moore of Emma's Eatery Catering. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us and we really look forward to doing this again sometime in the future.
The rich, fragrant pasta dish that was created will definitely be a new staple in our home. Following the class we found ourselves checking Amazon and local kitchen stores for the recommended tools and specialty grocery stores for the particular brand names that Emma recommended. We understood that you were doing the same thing, so to make it more convenient, we have compiled Emma’s key takeaways, from pasta types to microplanes...
- Emma’s favourite knives are Global Knives. These award-winning knives are designed to the specific standards of professional Japanese chefs. They are made in Japan, and each variation features a lightweight, ergonomic handle. The quintessential chef’s knife for your kitchen. Christmas list? Find it at The Bay.
- What you didn’t know you needed in your kitchen drawer – a microplane! This grating/zesting tool has the perfect small holes to trim things nice and thin. Emma prefers her garnish of parmesan to be prepared with the microplane, as it turns into fluffy snow on the top of any dish. In our household we also like to grate ginger and garlic right into a pot or pan using the microplane, often faster and finer than any chopping could be. Found at Nicety’s in downtown Oakville.
- A “Spider” strainer was also recommended. Specifically, for getting noodles out of the water to avoid draining the whole pot of water. Also helps to remind you to save some pasta water for your sauce. We are always pouring all the water right out into the strainer, with instant regrets immediately following. Also available at Nicety’s downtown Oakville.
- Chef preferred pasta brands included Rustichiella d’Abruzzo, Stefano (great Canadian product) and Garofalo. With a great gluten-free option from Rummo.
- Seems easy enough to bring your ingredients to room temperature before cooking, and one step Emma considers to be quite important. This helps the products get to their most flavourful state and faster cooking times.
- Pasta water is our friend. An important ingredient in any pasta sauce is the used pasta water, it helps to loosen the sauce and makes for the perfect consistency. We’ve learned the best way to remember to save a cup or more, is to measure it out of the hot pot before even draining or taking out the pasta. Putting it aside until it is needed.
- Dried herbs vs fresh herbs - it is really up to preference and what you have in your cupboard. Something to keep in mind is that If you are going to use dried herbs over fresh be sure to cut the quantity by about half as the dried version is definitely more potent.
- Having learned to crack eggs on the side of the bowl, the moment Emma described the importance of cracking your eggs on a flat surface like your counter surprised us. Truth is, it is the best way to avoid having small pieces of shells in your mixture.
- Deep fried herbs for garnish? Yum! Reminder – you don’t need much oil. The fresh herbs should be placed in a shallow pan of heated oil. Within a minute or so they can be removed and placed directly on a piece of paper towel. The leaves will promptly crisp right up.
- Seasoning with salt - always wondered why Chef’s sprinkle the salt from such a far height? Turns out that isn’t just for show. By going from a further distance the salt naturally falls more consistently across the surface, rather than piling up in only one area.
Once again we want to thank everyone who joined, we loved seeing all your creations and beautiful faces across the screen. As well as another enormous thank you to Emma Moore from Emma’s Eatery for leading us through her delicious recipe.