First Rouxbe Dish

This week, I started my Professional Cook Certification course with [Rouxbe]( The first assignment is to make your go-to dish. It’s there for multiple reasons, such as learning how photo submission works, but also to give the chef instructors a chance to see what kind of food you typically make. Anyone who has eaten at my house knows that my go-to dish is fresh pasta. I made my first batch a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Honestly, since I bought my pasta roller, I don’t know that I’ve cooked dry pasta again. Although a lesson in a couple of days does have me making some dried pasta for a minestrone.

For this dish, I decided to make a small batch of [bow ties, with a sausage and tomato cream sauce]( The sauce was new for me, but honestly, it really isn’t about the sauce. Half the time, I just throw stuff on it from the antipasta bar at the grocery store. Bow ties are much easier to make than you would think. The trick is in the 3-finger pinch technique to get that cute bow tie shape.

The recipe called for a can of Italian plum tomatoes, but I happened to have a handful of fresh ones. I prepped them by cutting off the bottom, scoring the tops, then blanching them in water and an ice bath to remove the skins.

A HUGE thing you learn when starting to cook like a pro is that mise en place is everything. Your ingredients and your mind must be ready to go when flame touches the pan. If you are chopping vegetables after you’ve started cooking, you are already in the weeds. Here are the chopped and prepped ingredients for this dish.

This was a pretty simple recipe and the only real trick was timing the fresh pasta cooking with reducing the cream into a thickened sauce. I should have started the sauce a little before throwing the pasta in, so the sauce was a bit thinner than I would have liked. I could have given it more time, but A) I didn’t want the pasta to be overcooked and B) I was really hungry.

The finished dish plated pretty well. Frankly, I don’t love the look of tomatoes and sausage in cream sauce. Regardless, the taste was quite nice. I had the leftovers for dinner last night and they were better than the night before, as is often the case.

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