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On Bravo's Top Chef: All Stars L.A.'s Thursday, April 9, episode, the cheftestants were faced with an elimination challenge: create a six-course progressive vegetarian menu using fresh produce from the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market.
While chefs competing on the episode whipped up dishes ranging from chili soy Brussels sprouts to smoked beets to jerk cauliflower to butternut squash hummus, head judge Tom Colicchio explained in the What Would Tom Do? episode above that he would go a different route with his vegetarian dish of choice.
"Everything I do, whenever I write a menu, it starts with vegetables," Tom explained to Nilou Motamed in the video as the duo prepared to make Tom's Delicata squash agnolotti with chanterelles and brown butter (scroll down for the full recipe!). "If you're gonna eat your veggies, might as well mix them with pasta."
Measuring ingredients to make pasta from scratch, Tom explained, is as simple as remembering the number one: "One cup of flour, one egg, one teaspoon of water, one teaspoon of oil, one pinch of salt. "
Tom noted that when it comes to pasta at home, one of his sons is "adventurous," while the other simply prefers butter on his, to which Nilou admitted: "I'm never mad at a good butter and sage situation."
It seems Tom was also inspired by the choice. "I'm probably going to end up doing that," he said of including a butter sauce for the dish. "Because when I think Brussels sprouts, when i think some of these other ingredients, [I think] brown butter."
In a written tip in the video, Tom explains that brown butter is simply butter that has been slowly heated for a few minutes until it is light brown.
Check out the video above for Tom's tips for preparing the dish (including the best way to cook mushrooms!) and read the recipe below for a step-by-step guide to make Tom's Delicata squash agnolotti at home!
Delicata Squash Agnolotti with Chanterelles and Brown Butter
For the Pasta Dough:
2 cups of flour
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp water
2 pinches kosher salt
Directions: Knead together all ingredients for 10-12 minutes, form into ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for about 30 minutes.
For the Delicata Squash Filling:
2 large Delicata Squash.
(yields approx. 1lb roasted Delicata squash when cooked)
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Split squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft. Remove meat and strain through a fine mesh sieve/tami. Place in pastry bag.
3 cups Cleaned Chanterelles
2 cups Brussel Sprout leaves
3 cups Cleaned Chanterelles
½ cup Leeks thinly sliced
½ cup Fennel Bulb thinly sliced (save fennel frond for garnish)
Salt and Pepper
Directions: Sauté Chanterelles in olive oil. Blanch Brussel sprout leaves, leeks, and fennel. Salt and pepper to taste.
Brown Butter Sauce
1 stick of butter
1 tbl finely chopped Parsley
Directions: Brown butter in heavy bottom sauce pan, add parsley.
Top & Garnish:
8-10 Sage Leaves
Directions: Flash fry sage leaves until crispy.
1. Make the pasta dough and place in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
2. While the dough rests, make the squash filling and clean and prepare the vegetables.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into a sheet that's 20 inches by 8 inches by ⅛ inch. Cut the pasta sheet in half lengthwise and pipe a ½-inch-thick strip of filling lengthwise down the middle of the pasta. Brush the top half of the pasta with the egg wash, then pull the bottom half over the filling and press lightly onto the top half of the strip to seal. Using your fingers, press down on the filled section of the pasta to form 1-inch-long pieces of agnolotti. Make sure that there is no filling in between each pasta indent, then using a fluted piecrust cutter, cut the pieces of agnolotti. Transfer the agnolotti to a lightly floured, parchment-lined sheet pan, sprinkle with flour and set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, cook your vegetables and make your sauce. 5. Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Fry the sage garnish. Strain the pasta and add to the sautéed vegetables. Plate, add sauce, shave parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper and garnish with sage and fennel fronds.
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