Monday, July 8, 2013

Cooking Class at 51 Lincoln - 5 Pasta Sauces!

Last weekend, I took a cooking class at one of our favorite restaurants, 51 Lincoln in Newton, MA.  The title of course sold me immediately: "Five Minute Pasta Sauces".  They have a whole series of classes that have included Breakfasts, Homemade Pasta, Canning, and Butchering (just to name a few).  The courses run from 9am-12pm and take place in the restaurant's kitchen.

I arrived at the restaurant a little before 9 and immediately made my way to the kitchen, where I found a station set up for each person in the class.  As everyone filed in, we started the class with some knife skills.  This class we focused on dicing onions, mincing and slicing garlic, and cutting herbs so they don't bruise.  We all chopped away, actually preparing the ingredients we'd use in our pasta sauces.  We also practiced "flipping" the contents in the pan using kernels of corn.  After spilling corn all over the kitchen, we quickly mastered the "push, pull" motion that would allow us to stir our pasta sauces without using a spoon.

The instructor had prepared some paperwork with information about each of the five sauces we were going to make, along with the recipes.  The sauces we made were Marinara, Puttanesca, Butter & Cheese, Meuniere, and Alfredo.  Today I'll share the Puttanesca and Meuniere sauce recipes with you, so make sure you check back for the other three later!

It was amazing to watch her make each of these sauce.  You always think you can never make something as fantastic as what you're served in a restaurant like 51 Lincoln, but NOW I can...and in about the same time as it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

Then it was our turn!  We each grabbed a frying pan, claimed our burner on their massive stove top, and got to cookin!  Only one person burned something out of all 6 of us, which I thought was pretty good for some first timers cookin' fast.  Here are a few of my creations!

Once one of us would finish a recipe, we'd transfer it into a large bowl with the like recipes.  When everyone was done in the kitchen, we moved to the bar to relax and enjoy a spread featuring all of all our hard work!  It was the perfect way to end a fun morning.

The important thing with these sauces is to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to add.  Since the sauces take such a short amount of time to cook these, you won't have time to stop and chop!

As promised, here are two of the recipes from the day.

Puttanesca Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3 anchovy filets
1/4 cup white wine
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (drain and reserve juice)
1/2 cup pitted black olives (preferably oil-cured)
2 Tablespoons capers
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked pasta of choice

1.  Place a medium pan over high heat.  Add oil, turn down to medium.
2.  Add anchovies and garlic, and cook until garlic is golden brown.
3.  Add olives and capers, cook for a few seconds and de-glaze with white wine.
4.  Add tomatoes and 1 Tablespoon of the reserved juice.  Cook on medium-high for a couple of minutes
5.  Add pasta and toss, adding more tomato juice if needed.  Finish with parsley, chili flakes, and a drizzle of evoo.

Meuniere Sauce
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat up a medium pan over medium-low heat.
2.  Add butter and cook until it begins to brown.
3.  Take off the heat and swirl in lemon juice and parsley.
4.  Serve over fish, chicken, or toss with pasta.

It was seriously some of the most fun I've had in a long time.  The instructor was friendly and a fantastic teacher - encouraging and clear...just what we needed.

If you live in the Boston area, check out 51 Lincoln's cooking class schedule to see if there's a class you'd like to take.  I hear there will be several more added in the next few weeks!  I'll DEFINITELY be going back!


  1. How fun! I had no idea this restaurant did classes, I have to look into them...

    1. Yes!! I looooove 51 Lincoln, so it was really fun to be in their kitchen! :)

  2. That sounds like so much fun - even for this non-cooking chick! Do they serve wine while you cook!?!? I would definitely go then ;)

    1. It was so much fun! You would have loved it...even if you're not "cooky". :) There wasn't wine while we were cooking, but there was wine when we were eating afterward!

  3. Yum! One of my friend's always talks about this restaurant and I've never been. I must go and soon! That class looks like so much fun.

    1. You really do need to go! It's such a fantastic place!

  4. How fun!! My husband loves a good Puttanesca :)

    1. I really enjoyed it too. I liked this because I never would have ordered it on my own, but now I know I like it!