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Culinary Apprenticeship Students Share Pasta Recipes

Culinary Apprenticeship Students Share Pasta Recipes

Stomachs were full and palates were pleased during the Mystery Basket challenge in KSU’s Culinary Apprenticeship course. This timed test of skills showcased future chefs’ ability to be innovative — all while racing the clock.

Two of our students shared their recipes with you to try at home. You can view all of our dishes on our Facebook page.

To learn more about how Mystery Basket challenges work, ready our introductory blog post. And if you need more student recipes, we’ve got plenty.

Nicholas Dresser’s Dijon Vinaigrette Salad, Gnocchi with Hot Butter Sauce, Hot Mustard Chicken


  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large handful all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter

1. Place potatoes in salted water and bring to a boil. Boil until a knife easily pierces the potatoes (10-15 minutes).
2. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and either put them through a ricer or mash them.
3. Mix beaten egg, flour, butter and a pinch of salt to potatoes and mix gently until combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky; if too sticky, add one tablespoon of flour at a time to adjust.
4. Divide dough into 4 parts and roll each into a log as thick as your thumb. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut every 3/4″ and set aside on a baking sheet covered with a towel to prevent drying out.
5. Add gnocchi to a lightly boiling pot of water. When they float, cook 1 minute more and then add to an ice bath until cool. Set on a rack to drain.


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • Herbs (your choice)

1. Cut butter into tablespoons and add to a pan over medium heat. Add any herbs you like such as thyme, rosemary or sage.
2. Continue swirling the melted butter until it turns lightly tan and has as nutty aroma. Add cooked gnocchi and coat, then serve immediately.

Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate at KSU Mystery Basket Chicken


  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Ancho or Chipotle chili powder

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.
2. Make two deep slashes in the chicken breast and egg to marinade. Make sure marinade completely coats the chicken, including in the cuts you made.
3. Refrigerate chicken for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
4. When ready to roast, preheat oven to 400 F and roast chicken until juices are clear and internal temperate reads 165 F (45-60 minutes).


  • Lettuce of your choice
  • 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/2 of a shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine Sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste for seasoning.
3. Chop lettuce and toss with dressing, serve immediately.

Lucy Mburu’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Homemade Fettucine with Spinach, Sausage and Red Pepper Sauces

Mystery Basket Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 Romaine head of lettuce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 thinly cut green bell pepper
  • 1 thinly cut red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp oil (halved)

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Add ground chicken in a skillet and cook until brown.
3. In another skillet, heat remaining oil.
4. Add onion and cook until tender, then add garlic.
5. Stir in chicken and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
6. Add bell peppers, salt and black pepper (to taste).
7. Serve on a crispy lettuce wrap. Add red pepper sauce (optional – see recipe below).


  • Red peppers
  • Onions

1. Roast peppers in oven or on grill until the skin turns dark.
2. Peel and pour peppers into a blender. Blend to a smooth paste.
3. Sauté onions until translucent.
4. Add sauce into onion and stir.
5. Season to taste.


  • 1 roll of Tennessee Pride mild ground sausage
  • 1 bag of pre-washed spinach
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 thinly cut red bell pepper
  • 1 thinly cut green bell pepper
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground basil
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown sausage in a skillet.
2. Sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic in a different skillet.
3. Add browned sausage and cook for about three minutes.
4. Add green and red bell peppers, then ground basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste).
5. Add spinach and tomatoes.

Mystery Basket Fettucine


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and salt.
2. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg, and mix to form a stiff dough.
3. Slightly rub oil all over dough. Wrap dough in a cling wrap and set aside while you make the two sauces (Spinach and Sausage and Red Pepper).
4. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Use either a rolling pin or pasta-rolling machine to roll dough out to desired thinness.
6. Cut into strips.
7. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Stir in freshly made pasta.
8. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook pasta until it’s al dente (about 4 to 5 minutes). Freshly made pasta takes less time to cook.
9. Serve pasta with a scoop of both sauces.
10. Top with Parmesan. (optional)

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