My husband once told me that if he’s not playing a round of golf, he’d just as soon be watching the professionals play. I wondered if I’d ever find anything I was that passionate about, but that was before I acknowledged the obvious…
You see, I began cooking from the time I was old enough to scoot a stool in front of the stove. I scrambled eggs as my mom cooked up a hearty breakfast for my dad and his friends on the opening day of hunting season. I learned to fry a hamburger before I entered kindergarten. I earned a blue ribbon as a first-year 4-Her member with the chocolate chip muffins I exhibited at the county fair.
No wonder I felt an immediate connection to Debbie Dance Uhrig, the Master Craftsman who teaches at Silver Dollar City’s Midwest Living® Culinary & Craft School. Debbie writes in the forward to her Simply Yours cookbook:
“I began cooking from the time I could handle a spoon and stir. Throughout my life, I was taught to preserve foods, cook in ample amounts and to be prepared for extra folks at the table or surprise guests.”
That’s the same philosophy my mom instilled within me! No wonder my mom and I greatly enjoyed watching the professional demonstrate cooking during the Farm to Table cooking class we took last Saturday. We learned to make Midwest Living’s Garden Pasta Primavera and a Quick Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, one of Debbie’s original creations.
Quick Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
by Debbie Dance Uhrig, Master Craftsman at Silver Dollar City’s Midwest Living® Culinary & Craft School
Boil noodles in salted water. While pasta is cooking, combine: pesto sauce, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese in small saucepan and heat thoroughly. Turn sauce to low. Drain the pasta when it’s done and turn back to original pan with 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Pour hot sauce over pasta and stir to coat. Serve as a side with steak, chicken or seafood. Serves 4 to 5.
COOK’S TIP: Grate fresh Parmesan cheese for this dish for best results and maximum creaminess. Because cheese loses moisture once it’s cut, purchasing shredded Parmesan cheese will result in lumpy sauce.
My 14-year-old daughter, who also attended the culinary class, enjoyed this pasta sauce so much that she asked if we could make it at home this week. (Side bar: Debbie mentioned this pasta would make a great side dish for grilled meats, so I’m planning to serve it with marinated grilled steaks. After all, our #31DaysofBeef celebration continues throughout the month of May.)
The fanciest part of each recipe that Debbie demonstrated is the title! While the list of ingredients for the primavera may look intimidating at first, the recipe itself it quite simple to follow. Debbie believes in presenting recipes that call for common ingredients and a simple understanding for cooking. (This sounds exactly like the recipes we feature on TheFieldPosition! As Debbie says, “Why overwhelm people with more elaborate dishes that might prevent them from going through the effort?”)
Like Debbie, I believe in reconnecting with family and friends around the dining room table. Today I’m sharing both of the pasta recipes she demonstrated. Also be sure to check out Debbie’s website, The Covered Dish, for more down-home Midwestern recipes.
P.S. Our long weekend getaway to Branson, Missouri, was the latest road trip taken in celebration of my mom’s birthday. Last year we traveled to Seed Savers Exchange, and in 2013, we took a pie baking class inside the American Gothic House. What culinary adventures have you enjoyed? I need ideas for our May 2016 road trip!