Baking with Burris: Ms. Elsa’s mushroom and truffle pasta

MADE WITH LOVE. When English teacher, Yearbook and Journalism advisor, Casey Elsa, puts a lot of effort into her dish, she adds a whole lot of love. “We can’t make a meal in our family without effort to accommodate everybody’s needs,” she said, “Eating always feels like love, feels like everybody involved themselves in it, really cares about each other. Food is love.” Photo by Jaden Burris

Article and Photo by Jaden Burris, Social Media Editor

For English teacher, Yearbook and Journalism advisor, Casey Elsa, cooking food in her family takes many ingredients, but one of the main ingredients is love. One of the dishes that Elsa and her family currently love is her Mushroom and Truffle Pasta.

Elsa and her family have two main problems when it comes to cooking, finding dishes that accommodate everyone’s dietary needs and that are easy to cook. In fact, Elsa considers herself the DoorDash queen because it’s easier for her family. One day, her husband decided that they needed to eat healthier, so they decided to order meal kits. The meal kits in question, Green Chef and Purple Carrot. “I have tried out different things with them, and this one meal was this truffle butter, mushroom pasta dish that was really good,” said Elsa, “Then I took it and redid parts of it because over the holidays, I had people with dietary needs that were different. My daughter wants to be vegan, my friend is gluten intolerant and so I revised it to make it accommodate all of their wishes with my own little tweaks.”

As I said before, Elsa likes easy meals that don’t take much time and her pasta is one of them. “It’s easy. It tastes really good and it tastes like there’s love in it. I think it’s the truffles that do that because they have sorta like a meaty taste, and there’s like a warm comfort vibe to it because it’s a creamy dish,” said Elsa. She also isn’t sure if it’s a summer dish because of how warm and comforting it is. Summer dishes aren’t like that. 

Cooking for her family has always been a complicated thing. Both of her parents were big meat eaters, and it seems like she has eaten everything that could be considered meat. “Before I became a vegetarian, I ate all of the meat. I ate alligators, snakes, cows, chickens, pigs and whatever,” said Elsa, “Raw meat if it was sushi.” When Elsa decided to no longer purchase meat for her home, it was to save money because meat is expensive, and she thought being vegetarian was cheaper. 

It takes a lot of effort to cook in the Elsa household because of all the dietary needs in her home. Food is complicated in her house because they have a meat eater, a non dairy person and a non meat eater. She believes that the more effort you put into a dish, the more it shows people you love them. “We can’t make a meal in our family without effort to accommodate everybody’s needs,” Elsa said, “Eating always feels like love, feels like everybody involved themselves in it, really cares about each other. Food is love.”

Making this meal was difficult for me mentally because I have a hatred for mushrooms (almost everyone in my family does) and well, this dish required two cases of them. The process was difficult for me because I am used to all my pastas being creamy, and full of things I love. This one wasn’t, so it was a challenge. I thought I was doing many things wrong when making this recipe, but after consulting Elsa, I realized it was normally like that. For me, instead of creamy, it was soupy and still warm as she said. Surprisingly, I actually liked this dish. I made it for lunch at my house and we all loved it. 

Overall, this dish has now become a staple at my house and Casey Elsa kind of also taught me the importance of incorporating love in your food. 

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