October 15, 2011

pasta station

Maybe I've been making pasta all my life, or maybe there were less tasks to keep track of, but pasta station was pretty simple. Make spaghetti, reheat marinara and bolognese sauces, and put together a pasta special.

pasta service

In the time that I was on pasta station, a two-person station, I made up two pasta specials. One was penne with italian sausage, caramelized onions, corn and spinach in a light tomato sauce (as seen above). The other was penne with bacon, bacon-greased onions, peas and cherry tomatoes in a bechamel sauce. (Yes, I like penne a lot.)

With the amount of volume we were doing, the ingredients had to be pretty simple. The bacon basically cooked itself over heat, the onions were sauteed in the same pan the bacon was done in, the peas were from a box (freshly thawed!) and the cherry tomatoes came straight out of the basket.

Mise-en-place was to be expected, knowing me and my organized-ness, but it made things a lot easier since the pasta server out on the cafeteria would sometimes be giving us a minute's notice before another full hotel pan was expected to be out. So I would blanch some cooked pasta (by lowering a colander full of it into a steam kettle like the one I made soup in), go down the line and toss stuff in, then add sauce and mix.

pasta special mise-en-place

For the pasta special to sell well, Chef Hammerich reinforced that it needed to be very well-sauced and super colorful. Hence the cherry tomatoes on what would've simply been bacon, peas and cream sauce.

pasta special

I discovered belatedly that though the special was well-sauced, it wasn't well-salted. But it sold well! :X

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