You may recognize Anne Burrell best from the popular show Worst Cooks in America, or from her signature, blonde spiky hair. Either way, once you've heard of her, you're not soon to forget her.
Burrell burst her way into the cooking scene after Mario Batali asked her to be one of his sous chefs for his Iron Chef America series. Then, in 2010, Worst Cooks in America was born and became an instant obsession among foodies and non-foodies alike.
This year was Burrell's first at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, but you definitely wouldn't know that from her packed schedule. She hosted a Mastering Pasta class alongside chef Dana Cowin, and did a classic cook-off with Tim Love. AOL.com got the chance to sit down with Burrell at the Food & Wine Classic and learn a bit more about cooking pasta, her go-to dish, and more.
"Anytime we get a whole bunch of chefs together in the same place, it's fun, and a little raucous, in the best possible way," Burrell said about the festival. "It's a great networking event and a great way to keep people in touch, that's what food does."
Not only that, but definitely one of her most anticipated events of the weekend was her Mastering Pasta event. We were a bit curious too -- what does make some pasta just so much better than others? Burrel's advice?
There's a few, if you're starting off from scratch with a pasta, people can be tentative about how much liquid to add, it's either too wet or too dry, and then they don't knead it enough, so then they never end up developing a really toothsome pasta, they wind up with a limp noodle.
A lot of times when people cook pasta, the pasta water is never seasoned enough, and if the pasta water is under seasoned, your dish will be under seasoned and you'll never be able to recover from that. It's also important to cook the pasta in the sauce so that it creates the marriage between the two. Finish it with oil and parmesan cheese that really binds the sauce and the pasta together. A lot of the time, people just dump the sauce on top, but that's just not a unified dish. That's pasta, and sauce. It's supposed to be all one, the sauce is supposed to coat the pasta. When you finish, there shouldn't be a big puddle of sauce. You should only have enough to dip your bread.
Well, there you have it from one of the best -- don't under season, and cook your pasta and sauce together. Simple tips that even real chefs can forget.
With all of the experiences she had, Burrell had some good advice for chefs out there: "Cooking is about the basics. Food should taste good," she said. "Taste your food as you're cooking it, if it doesn't taste good, there's something wrong."
Ever wondered what the famed chef would choose to eat for the rest of her life? With a lightning fast answer she notes: "Pasta. Bucatini all'amatriciana. Bucatini is a dried pasta but it's thick, chewy pasta, and then the tomato sauce is spicy, with lots of onion and guianciale, which is beautiful cured pork. I could just plant my face in that and eat it forever. That to me, is like, when you say comfort food, that is what I want."
So, what's next in store for the chef? She's just finished a new season of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition with Rachel Ray, and were also a few weeks into filming another season.
If you've been dying to try some of Burrell's famed food, have no fear! She's opening a restaurant in Brooklyn, it'll be "American with an Italian nod." We are already making room in our reservation books for that one!
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