Saturday, November 22, 2008

Photohunt: Reflection (Pasta Scientifique)

Today I had the opportunity to reflect on the science of gastronomy with Pasta Scientifique!

Pasta Scientifique is part of a series of creative and informal fora designed by Cafe Scientifique to reach and teach a variety of audience to see and appreciate science in all aspect of our lives. They discuss the science of everyday things in this case pasta preparation! Cool huh?

Here we have Cibo's very own Margarita Fores (middle) teaching us a few of her recipes and Mitzi Borromeo (left), Philippine coordinator of the Cafe Scientifique as moderator.

They showed us how to prepare 3 of Margarita Fores' own recipes and gave us insights on pasta preparation.

Farfalle alla Genovese, a ribbon-shaped pasta with sauteed mushrooms, cream and Pesto Genovese--a basil pesto made in the classical way using mortar and pestle.

I'm not sure I'm gourmet can tell the difference between hand prepared pesto as to a food processor prepared one, but this is definitely yummy! This is also the first time I was able to taste pasta that actually had it own taste. Apparently, the secret is to actually put a lot of salt in the water used to cook the pasta. She said if it doesn't taste like sea water yet, there's not enough salt.

Spaghettini al Pomodoro Crudo, spaghettini in raw marinated tomatoes with garlic and sweet basil

This is a culinary delight indeed! So good yet so simple to prepare. Basically, she marinated tomato in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for an hour and voila! She suggested that when choosing tomatoes for this you should pick the overripe ones, ones that are soft and plump and easily bruised for these are the sweetest ones. She also suggested leaving the tomato seeds in.

Fettuccine al Bolognese

Here she used fresh egg pasta. Again, I can't say I can tell the difference except that again this is good. She says that when cooking pasta, it's important to use enough water (5L per 500g of pasta) at the right temperature (i.e. when the water is boiling vigorously). Don't use oil, to prevent pasta sticking from each other, just give it a quick stir right after you put the pasta in the water. And while one is advised to follow package instructions as to the time it takes to cook, one should always check the pasta to see if it's al dente (i.e. soft enough to eat, but firm enough that it bites back).

It really was a delightful learning experience. And what made the whole thing even more interesting is the presence of the scientists! Yeah, there were physicists, and chemists who were there because they wanted to help clarify certain concepts or rather misconceptions.

That's me being creepy and asking for an autograph and a photo-op hehe...

Cafe Scientifique is supported by the Mind Museum--a science museum project by the Bonifacio Art Foundation set to open in 2011 at wherelse? Global City, Fort Bonifacio--near Bonifacio Highstreet just across Market Market. Isn't that something to look forward to? (Check out the video on their site, really exciting stuff!) If you want to participate in some of their future activities (like I hear they've planned a session where they tackle the sciences of shopping and the physics of magic) you may email them here.

NB If you have questions or if you want copies of the recipe (which they graciously provided) feel free to leave me your email address and I will attend to that as soon as I can.


Anonymous said...

OK... so those are very out of the box reflection photos, but ooooh so yummy!! :)
Thanks for your visit!

CRIZ LAI said...

Wow! Can I have some of each? All the dishes looked delicious.. slurps~~

philos said...

@Sabine: It really was... and really, I saw most of the cooking from a reflecting pane on top. Thanks for coming by! :)

@Ciz Lai: Haha... sure you can, just go to Cibo.

Brine Queen said...

Hum.. reflection on science while digesting? I love it.

Thanks for stopping by.

jams o donnell said...

They certainly look delicious!

Carver said...

Sounds like fun and the dishes all look delicious. Interesting take on the theme.

Shebadoo said...

Yummy! I love pasta! Great take on the PH theme. ;)

Aha Mama | A Zone for Digiscraps

YTSL said...

A unique take on this week's Photo Hunt theme! ;b

Unknown said...

Yummy, all of that food makes me really hungry!

Dana~Are We There Yet? said...

It's 10:30 at night, and now all I want to do is eat!!

Great photos!