Star-Worthy Pastas to Make at Home

by in Recipes, July 24, 2013

Nikki DinkiWhen it comes to cooking in the Food Star Kitchen, mediocrity will never suffice. Week after week, Star finalists must turn out camera-worthy meals that are both deliciously inspired and intelligently presented. But just because mentors demand excellence on the plate doesn’t mean the rivals have to concoct complicated dishes that take hours to prepare; easy-to-make, quick-cooking offerings are also acceptable, and the finalists proved that with their preparations of classic pasta dishes during last week's episode.

Damaris PhillipsDamaris', Stacey's and Nikki's pastas were among the simplest prepared during the Mentor Challenge, so much so that you can make them easily in your home kitchen. Nikki's Fire Island Burst Tomato Pasta with Lemon Herbed Goat Cheese Balls is a family-friendly plate that puts seasonal cherry tomatoes to work. Nikki starts by sauteing the tomatoes with garlic until they're soft and sweet, then she tosses the sauce with linguini and tops it with a sprinkle of fragrant basil and mint. For an indulgent finish, she studs each plate with a few goat cheese balls, which she's rolled with bright lemon zest and fragrant basil, mint, rosemary and thyme.

Stacey Poon-KinneyDamaris and Stacey opted for meatier offerings, the former making Linguini Bolognese with Pancetta, Beef, Tomato Sauce, Herbs and Parmesan. After cooking pancetta with onions, garlic and carrots, Damaris adds the beef, tomatoes and thyme, then cooks the mixture for a few minutes until the flavors have married. Finish the dish with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese for a salty bite.

Instead of cooking the meat in her sauce, Stacey simply tops pasta with chicken in her recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca with Brown Butter Angel Hair Pasta. She tosses pasta with fresh garlic, nutty brown butter and lemon zest before fanning atop the noodles juicy chicken wrapped with crispy prosciutto.

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Comments (38)

  1. Charlotte says:

    Stacey would look better if she grew her hair out.

  2. heather says:

    Damaris is a star . I love her personality, if people are annoyed they are going to turn the channel. She hooks you! I also feel like she is genuine and unpredictable. Stacy on the other hand while beautiful and polished is borrrrrrrrrrrring.She seemed a little crazy in the donut episode. You can not unring that bell. I love the show and my whole house are avid Foodnetwork watchers.

    • Roger says:

      You're right. There's something about Damaris that draws me in. When the three ladies went to the donut shop she was immediately likable. Happy without phoniness. They say she can really cook, too.

    • Janice says:

      I agree! Her personality is adorable and I think she comes off as such a genuine person. I will definitely watch her show if she wins!

    • gmjjh says:

      Yup Ditto...But the final 2 should hanve been Nikii and Damaris.

  3. scarlet r says:

    Bobby said that he made his decision on whom to cut by which one he didn't want to see again. I can make this even easier - I don't want to see ANY of them again except the pie guy, and I can't even understand him.

  4. gmjjh says:

    Nickki going home is a real shocker...SOO sorry Nikki....I was looking foreward to your style of recipes. BUT Damaris had KILLER green beans. I made them using her exact recipe and...WOW. Rodney is just too obsessed with being cool. I am NOT looking for another cool dude show.Sorry but it comes off like a male pis- - - - contest. I want great recipes, and good clear directions, and spontanious charm. Rodney may have an ok theme, but I think he is better suited for a reality show. Maybe put him on that new show that is coming up....That way he can steal/ sneak stuff and hide them in a pie. My vote goes goes to Damaris. She can Really COOK, , DEMO clearly, AND SELL...who would't @ least be tempted to buy or use a tool that a culinary teacher likes. Plus her quirky fun charm is just fun to follow

  5. Donna says:

    Stacy should have stayed. I am tired of hearing Rodney talk! I would not watch his show if he won. You can't understand him and he uses way too much slang. I hope Damaris wins.