‘MasterChef’ season 11 episode 7 recap: ‘Legend’ Nancy Silverton gives ‘Pasta Challenge’ to Top 11 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

This week’s episode of “MasterChef: Legends” was all about setting the stage for the coveted Top 10. At the beginning of the hour, 11 chef-testants were still in the running to win the $250,000 grand prize: Abe Konick, Alejandro Valdivia, Anne Hicks, Autumn Moretti, Joseph Manglicmot, Kelsey Murphy, Lexy Rogers, Michael Newman, Miles Gateff, Suu Khin and Tay Westberry. Joining host Gordon Ramsay and judges Joe Bastianich and Aaron Sanchez this week was Nancy Silverton, who tasked the remaining players with a carb-busting pasta challenge. So how’d it all play out on Wednesday night?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “MasterChef” recap of Season 11, Episode 7, titled “Legends: Nancy Silverton – Pasta Challenge,” to find out what happened Wednesday, July 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite aspiring chefs on Fox’s reality TV show and who you think has what it takes to join the winners list.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “MasterChef” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘MasterChef!” In the sixth episode, Gordon announced that Mary Jayne Buckingham had “fallen ill” and left the competition. Legend Michael Mina then joined the judging panel for a special meat roulette challenge. The three best dishes were Abe (who won the challenge), Joseph and Kelsey. The three bottom dishes were Matt (who was eliminated), Anne and Lexy. At the end of that episode, only 11 home cooks remained on the show. Who will be going home tonight?

8:05 p.m. — The home cooks return to the kitchen and learn the “Queen of Italian Cooking” Nancy Silverton is tonight’s legendary judge. She tells them she looks for cooks that are “hungry to learn” and instructs them to “keep it simple” and keep tasting as they cook. Tonight’s challenge is to make the staple of Italian cuisine — fresh pasta. But first, they get a quick tutorial from Joe and Nancy.

8:10 p.m. — Joe reiterates the simplicity of Italian food and tells their entire dish will have about three ingredients. I’m sure it will taste brilliant, but I don’t think I have the patience for this do-it-yourself pasta. They throw a little asparagus and parmesan in there and voila! A delightful pasta dish. Now it’s up to the home cooks to hit the stove and come up with their own fresh pasta dish. The winner gets dinner for two at Joe and Nancy’s restaurant in Los Angeles.

8:20 p.m. — The home cooks are all working on their dishes and the judges stress simplicity. They’re not looking for anyone to make things too complicated. Miles has a huge pan of pine nuts roasting that Joe scoffs at and Nancy says they could overpower the dish. Lexy has never made fresh pasta before and challenges herself further by making lasagna in an hour. Lexy is known as the cook who spends $40 each week on groceries for a family of four. Her journey on this season is one of the most fun to watch. Back over at Miles’ station, he sprints to the pantry after failing on his first batch of pesto. Yikes!

8:46 p.m. — With 10 minutes to spare, the judges sit back and laugh at Miles and his ridiculous pile of pine nuts. Autumn’s dish seems to be intriguing them the most at this point. Finally time expires and it’s time to find out who made the best pasta! The judges pace around the kitchen and judge the appearance of each dish (with slight tastes of some of the sauces). After a brief deliberation, they’ve made their decision. The first dish being highlighted is Anne’s pappardelle with pancetta, asparagus, peas and cream sauce. Nancy is pleased with Anne’s choice to cut up the asparagus and Gordon says she “nailed it.” Cranky Joe says Anne is “a little overdressed for the ball.” The next highlight belongs to Autumn’s lemon ricotta & beet tortellini with white wine & leek sauce, beets and pea tendrils. Gordon says the dish screams “attitude and passion.” Nancy thinks it’s “really well balanced” and Joe thinks the structure of the pasta is “perfect.” The last highlight is Kelsey’s tagliatelle with lobster, peas and tarragon cream sauce. Joe says the lobster steals the show and was seasoned perfectly. Aaron thinks it is a thoughtful dish and Nancy loves it. But wait, they’ve decided to highlight a fourth dish! And that is Lexy’s lasagna with Italian sausage and ricotta. Gordon says it’s like a “big welcome home” and Nancy loves the crispy bits. Aaron loves the rustic and chunky vegetables inside. After another deliberation, the judges have named Autumn tonight’s winner!

8:59 p.m. — Four women have made the Top 10 so far, but who is going home? The first troubled home cook is Miles with his pesto fettuccine with beef & pork ragu. Gordon thinks it looks “bizarre” and Nancy asks how he would like them to eat it. Aaron says Miles needs to commit to one thing and do it right. The next poor dish belongs to Alejandro with his tagliatelle pomodoro with grilled octopus. Nancy says it’s “not inviting” and Gordon says Alejandro has the wrong pasta with the wrong garnish. Joe says it tastes like microwaved leftovers. The final cook at the bottom is Michael with his gnocchi with poached lobster, crispy pancetta, peas and butter sauce. Joe says Michael made a major technical error with his butter and Gordon says the pasta isn’t cooked properly. Nancy finds the dish “one note.” The judges discuss these failed dishes and the home cook being eliminated just shy of the Top 10 is Miles. Gordon says Miles was outpaced tonight and left a confusing mark on their palates. Nancy says they’ve all gotten bad reviews but it will just make him a better cook.

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