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the experiment

June 19, 2008

My name is Aly Croen, I’m an intern for Al Dente Pasta this summer, and this is where my story begins.  It was dark, gloomy, rancid, and full of pizza boxes. No, I’m not talking about a garbage dump (though not far from), I’m referring to a college apartment.  On this fateful Thursday, I gathered three of my friends to participate in a moderately risky experiment.  I have to be honest, these friends were very brave participants. The experiment, embarrassingly enough, was if I could actually make a decent meal.  Our hypothesis was of course that, no, I would not be able to do so.  As a University of Michigan student, Monique’s alma mater (Go Blue!), I often do not have time to prepare anything more than a sandwich, frozen dinner, or if I’m feeling particularly creative, a salad. Therefore, we had various Ann Arbor delivery places on call for the moment they tasted my food.

To create the illusion of having a delicious meal at least, I made my friends dress up in their finest attire.  Unfortunately, we did not wear our ballroom dresses or tuxedos, but this was only due to the 90 degree weather and lack of air conditioning.  I’ll save that occasion for a cooler day.  As I approached the stove to begin my attempt at cooking, I glanced over at the checkered Al Dente pasta bag.  I felt a little glimmer of hope knowing I was using a quality product that I’ve grown up eating. 
When I came in contact with Monique to intern for the summer, I found out that my family has been buying Al Dente Pasta in a local grocery store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for years.  I decided with the garlic and parsley fettuccine Monique so graciously provided me, to make chicken alfredo.  I used two different recipes I found on, one was for the sauce and the other for the chicken:
Alfredo Sauce:
4 tb butter
½ c heavy cream
6 tb parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter on low.  Take off heat and add in cream, parmesan, salt and pepper.  Replace pan, stir until sauce smooth.  Don’t boil.
2 chicken breasts- cover with flour, dip in egg, cover with bread crubs.  Fry in oil until done.
Al Dente Pasta:
Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Add some salt.  Add pasta.  Check after three minutes.  If done, drain and combine with chicken and sauce.
Garlic bread is a great addition to this meal.
The recipe was very easy, while I was finishing making the chicken, I started the pasta.  Amazingly, the pasta was the easiest and fastest part to make, and by far the most delicious part of the meal.  After combining the pasta, chicken, and sauce, the meal I created actually looked delicious. But I was still very skeptical of how it
would taste.  Once I distributed the pasta, garlic bread, and wine to my guests, the moment of truth had finally arrived.  My heart was pounding as I slowly moved the fork toward my mouth.  Questions began popping into my head left and right.  Would it be good?  Did I even finish cooking the chicken?  Will there be enough flavor?  How slowly am I moving my fork towards my mouth that I can come up with all of these questions?

And then…contact.  The pasta, after quite some time, entered my mouth.  To my surprise, a multitude of delicious flavors rushed through my taste buds.  As I looked up, three other mouths were full of noodles.  This dinner was fantastic and all the plates were licked clean. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m ready for Iron Chef, but I realized that Thursday evening with a product like Al Dente, even I could make a great tasting meal.  I was successful in both satisfying my dinner guests, and realizing there are easy meals that can be made besides peanut butter and jelly.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. aly9123 permalink
    June 20, 2008 7:11 pm

    My friends really enjoyed this pasta and I had a blast making it!

  2. Monique permalink*
    July 5, 2008 8:55 pm

    Aly, I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all of your help with the aldentecanoodler. You are such a talented, bright and generous person. Whenever you want to have a pasta party, just say the word and pasta will appear on your doorstep. Deal?

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