|There can be only one!|
Saturday night, Kevin and I began the journey to accomplishing my life's goal of winning Cupcake Wars by competing in my first ever cooking competition. The pressure was running high, as I didn't want to disappoint my myriad fans (read: my mom and the 3 others). Would Kevin and I emerge victorious from the Pasta Throwdown or would we retreat to our house with our tails tucked between our legs?
For our entry, we went with the popular blog post Sausage & Mushroom Cannelloni (with zucchini!). We knew this was a winner, so we confidently walked into the kitchen stadium that is Jake and Pauline's ridiculous kitchen of my dreams and prepared to take on some of the fiercest foes ever. If we were going to have any chance, we were going to have to come up with a spectacular sauce to bring our delicacy to life.
Kevin's Special Pasta Sauce
Servings: Enough for 16 cannellonies
1 Onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, mushroom
12-16 cremini mushroom, destemmed and sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
Jalapeno, minced and seeded
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
Fresh basil to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
24 Campari tomatoes, quartered
- Sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini and jalapenos in olive oil until tender, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in the campari tomatoes and simmer over medium heat to reduce.
- If desired, brown any meats then toss in to the already reduced sauce.
Store bought sauce may be quick and easy, but nothing beats the results you get from a little extra effort. This tomato and basil packed sauce really brings everything together and makes sure that every bite of cannelloni is as amazing as possible.
The All-Star Cheftestants:
Reigning throwdown champion Sandy (who won a taco throwdown with her heart-shaped seafood filled tortillas) once again showed the world what presentation points are for with her ridiculous dinnssert to start the evening. The wonderfully unique dish consisted of bow tie pasta tossed with strawberry, mandarin oranges and basil then glazed with lemon poppy seed dressing served in an adorable yet powerful dark chocolate cayenne bowl garnished with shrimp (and love). It was clear from this intricate course that we were not going to win the throwdown lying down.
|Dinnssert is served (and crazy good).|
|Just in case you were wondering how one makes chocolate bowls.|
|Garnishing with a basil leaf! Who would ever do that?|
|It should be noted that the pasta isn't actually skewered too, so therefore this is cheating.|
|I've never seen a picture more accurately capture our majestic bromance.|
|Ok, we might garnish with a basil leaf. But there are two of them, so it's therefore prettier and more garnished.|
Our fantastic judges consisted of esteemed food critics Mimi, Princeton, Auris and Isabel. They were faced with the toughest task ever-resisting my many charms to fairly critique the food. Somehow, they managed to overcome the law of diminishing returns and fight off stuffed bellies to render a verdict...
|I'm not saying it was rigged, but IT DEFINITELY WAS RIGGED! (If you have any evidence of PastaGate, please call our toll-free hotline 1-800-TK4EVAS|
After all the hard work everyone put in to a night of fantastic eats, it was finally time for a champion to be crowned. Following careful deliberation based on taste, technique, plating and creativity, the judges decided on the following order:
4th: Alice's Crab and Corn Ravioli
3rd: Sandy's Insane Dinnssert
2nd: Kevin and My Cannellonis
1st: Steve's Spaghetti de Awesomeo
Sure we were a little disappointed that we didn't win, but ceding the title of champion to any of these stellar courses was easy to live with. Everyone truly brought their "A" game for one hard fought competition we were so proud to be a part of. Just wait until there's a baking challenge. Just wait.
|I offer my sincere and heartfelt congrats to Steve.|