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Portland Cooking School

A pearl on the culinary cutting edge in a trendy warehouse district in Portland

Written by Caroll Stoner
  • John Granen

    What makes a great teacher, says Lucy Vaserfirer, manager of In Good Taste Cooking School in Portland, Oregon, is passion—not just for food, but also for imparting knowledge. "I don’t want my classes to be academic discussions. Cooking at home is not about chemistry. It’s about getting people really excited about wanting to go home and cook. They, in turn, get their guests excited about eating well. That’s the fun of cooking."

    This recipe, by fellow cook and teacher Nancy Forrest, is for a squash galette (French for tart), enlivened with garlic, onion, Romano cheese, and fresh sage.  

    In Good Taste cooking school, 231 NW 11th Ave , Portland, OR 97209, (503)248-2015

    Recipes in this story:
    Hearty Squash Galette
    Galette Dough
    Penne with Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage

  • John Granen

    Roasted Squash Galette

    • Galette Dough (Click Here to See Recipe)
    • 3 pounds acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 head garlic
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
    • ¾ cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Prepare Galette Dough and chill.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Brush the cut side of the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove the papery skin from the garlic; trim off the top 1/4inch of bulb. Break bulb into pieces, then put half of the pieces on a shallow roasting pan. Place the halves of squash over the pieces of garlic, cut side down. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour or until squash is tender. Let squash cool slightly. Remove squash pulp from shells and place in large mixing bowl. Add garlic pulp. Mash squash and garlic together with potato masher or fork to make puree that is nearly smooth.

    Meanwhile, in large skillet cook the onion and sage in remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until onion is soft and aromatic. Add to squash. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow squash mixture to cool. 

    On lightly floured surface, roll Galette Dough from center to edges, forming an irregular 14-to 15-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Roll dough around rolling pin and unroll onto large baking sheet (edges of dough will hang over baking sheet edges). Place squash mixture in center, allowing a 2-inch border at the edge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of remaining cheese over filling and fold in sides, allowing an opening in center. Beat together egg and water. Brush egg mixture over dough. Cover galette with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden. Serve warm. Serves 8 to 12.


  • John Granen

    Galette Dough

    Combine 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup fine cornmeal, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar in food processor bowl. Cover and process just until combined. Add 2/3 cup butter, cut up, to food processor bowl. Cover and process with several on-off turns until butter is pea-size. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water while pulsing the machine (don't turn on machine and let it run). Dough should just start to come together. (Sometimes dough needs more water; sometimes less.) Turn dough onto work surface and bring together into ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes to relax gluten and make dough easier to handle. To form galette, roll out on lightly floured work surface into an irregular circle (it doesn't have to be perfectly round). If butter gets warm and soft, pop the dough back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Use in recipe as directed on previous slide.

  • John Granen

    Penne with Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage

    • 3 T olive oil
    • 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 1 1/4  pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
    • 2 T minced garlic (12 cloves)
    • Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
    • 1/4 C dry white wine
    • 1 1/4 C chicken broth
    • 3 T finely chopped sage
    • 8 oz dried penne pasta (4 cups)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (1/2 c)

    Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil; swirl to coat pan. Add squash and cook 4 to 5 minutes until browned, stirring only occasionally. Transfer to bowl. Return pan to medium-high heat; add sausage. Cook until well browned. Drain. Stir in galric and crushed red pepper, if desired, and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and simmer, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping pan to loosen any browned bits. Return squash to pan; add chicken broth and sage. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions. When al dente, drain well. Gently combine pasta-and-squash mixture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6 to 8.