One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.
Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.
But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more
A colorful pasta salad is the perfect meal on a warm summer evening especially when the whole meal takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Fresh, locally grown sweet cherry tomatoes are in season but any type of chopped tomatoes will work along with a sweet Vidalia onion, and lots of fresh spinach with whole grain pasta – but green zucchini, yellow squash, multi-colored peppers, and broccoli florets also make for a delicious pasta salad. Let your taste buds drive your recipe but know that seasoning is essential; otherwise, the pasta salad will be bland. Read more
Seggiano, the Italian gourmet and culinary leader is at it again. With 3 delicious pesto sauces already on the market, Seggiano decided the times is right to introduce a new pesto: Sicilian Wild Fennel Tomato Pesto: a thick and hearty sauce made with tomato salsa (tomatoes, salt) 43%, sun-dried tomatoes (tomatoes, salt) 28%, Italian extra virgin olive oil, wild fennel leaves 8.5%, avola almonds, and chili. Read more
Making a rich, creamy (dairy-free) risotto is not on the top ten list of most home cooks but it should be because risotto is a dish that avails itself to dozens of variations and typically requires no more than 25 minutes of time from start to finish. The key to a great risotto is the quality of the rice, the ingredients used to flavor the risotto, and a commitment to stir the risotto as it cooks to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Read more
Parma Zaan Sprinkles are an almond-based vegan substitute for parmesan cheese. Dairy-free with all natural ingredients and no artificial anything, Parma Zaan Sprinkles is also notable for containing no hydrogenated fats or refined sugar. Made with five ingredients: blanched almond meal, sea salt, nutritional yeast, dehydrated onion, and citric acid, Parma Zaan Sprinkles provide the nutty, cheesy flavor we all love without the dairy. Read more
Most connoisseurs of Italian cooking will tell you there are four attributes that determine the quality of a pasta: the type of wheat used, the quality of the water, how the pasta is drawn, and how the pasta is dried. Of course, the way pasta is cooked is also important but this fifth attribute is the responsibility of the cook whereas the former four attributes are determined by the pasta maker. Read more
When it comes to Italian food, there is one label that can always be trusted: Seggiano. Imported from Italy, Seggiano products include olive oil, balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, crackers, pasta, flatbread, olives, panforte, sauces, and pesto – all of which are categorically referred to as “Real Food From Italy.”
Made with real ingredients (non-GMO) without artificial ingredients and preservatives, Seggiano food products set a standard for prepared food that is hard to match even in your own kitchen (they grow the olives used to make the olive oil) so don’t feel guilty about buying a prepared food because next to homemade, Seggiano is best. Read more
Put the word “Paris” on anything and I’m there, especially where food is involved. Paris conjures ups thoughts of perfectly seasoned shallots sautéed in a copper sauce pan which is almost exactly what Sunny Paris seasoning by Penzey’s Spices adds to dishes. A blend of purple shallots, chives, green peppercorns, basil, tarragon, chervil, bay leaves, and dill week, Sunny Paris takes the work out of properly seasoning a dish. Read more