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Archive for Pasta-Pizza

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Nuovo Pasta Gourmet Ravioli

Ravioli lovers, dinner-party givers, and foodies of all inclinations: It doesn’t get more exciting than this. The word “ravioli” typically conjures up the image of pleasant pasta pillows stuffed with some vague meat or cheese. Not any more! Be prepared to be blasted to a higher level of ravioli consciousness by the artisans at Nuovo Pasta. For years we have lusted after Nuovo Pasta’s visually stunning, palate-tantalizing ravioli. We have longed to introduce them to you, dear NIBBLE reader. Heck, we have longed to get our own hands on them, but have been limited to tasting them at trade shows. The unmovable obstacle has been that Nuovo sells its gorgeous products only to restaurants, caterers and distributors. But now, we all can buy the same amazing ravioli that the professionals do, and wow our families and guests in the way that diners are wowed at top restaurants. Our good fortune is thanks to Marx Foods, a distributor of gourmet products to fine food establishments. They’ve made their wares available to consumers nationwide, through their online store.   Gourmet Ravioli
A trio of gourmet raviolis: from the top, a regular round ravioli, a girasole (sunflower) and a pansotti (trainagle).
As we sit here eating giant ravioli (a.k.a. ravioloni—a single piece is an entire first course), one stuffed with osso bucco and one with Point Reyes blue cheese (a prior NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), we are eternally grateful. There are plenty of regular-sized ravioli, too, but there is nothing “regular” about these beautiful pastas—triangular, round and rectangular, flecked, striped and marbled. They are stuffed with veal Bolognese, crawfish and andouille sausage, Grand Marnier roast duck, portabella mushrooms and Asiago cheese and dozens of other wonders. They’re irresistible, and will make your dinner parties the talk of the town. Read more and see all the photos in the full review. Pick your favorite and order a memorable first course for Easter dinner. And find more of our favorite pastas and sauces in the Pasta Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. Want to know the difference between ravioli, ravioloni, girasoles, pansotti, sacchette and a hundred other types of pasta? See our Pasta Glossary.

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TIP OF THE DAY: St. Patrick’s Day Eggs

You don’t have to hunt for green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Start your day with a nutritious green breakfast by adding pesto sauce to the eggs beaten for scrambled eggs, omelets, a frittata or quiche. Mix in one teaspoon per egg. Decorate the plate with fresh basil or spinach leaves, and you’ll start the day in a holiday mood. You’d think pesto would be a pretty simple proposition: basil (or other green, like spinach or arugula), oil (usually olive, sometimes walnut or other oil), Parmesan and nuts (usually pine, nuts, but walnut pestos and other recipes are pretty fine). Yet, we tasted more than 100 pesto sauces from around the world and found only six brands to recommend to you, two of which were from recent Top Pick Of The Week sauce maker, Sauces ‘n Love. Read about our favorite pestos, the history of pesto and a recipe for making great pesto at home. When you realize how easy it is, you’ll become a pesto-making maverick.   Pesto
Use pesto sauce to make green eggs on St. Patrick’s Day. Ham is optional with your green eggs, but you can enter our Gourmet Giveaway to win a great one this week. Photo by Val Lyashov | SXC.
Read about more of our favorite sauces in the Pasta & Sauces Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Saucy Gifts

March is National Sauce Month, so share the love. If you make a favorite pasta sauce—or if you’ve been thinking of trying a new recipe—all of that work can make many more people happy. Just make double or triple the amount you usually would. You can freeze the extra sauce in pint containers, not just for your own use but as gifts. Birthday celebrants, sick friends, new parents and new neighbors are just a few people who would appreciate something easy-to-make for dinner. Sending guests home from a dinner party with a pint of your homemade sauce is a nice party favor—something they’ll re-thank you for when they enjoy a second delicious dinner. Read about our favorite ready-to-eat sauces in the Pasta & Sauces Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Roast PotatoesRed sauces are not just for Italian food: Try them on roasted potatoes.
 

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Tortellini Day

TortelliniHeavenly Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni from Bertagni.   We don’t have to twist arms to get people to celebrate National Tortellini Day at THE NIBBLE. In fact, we’re lunching on several flavors of the wonderful tortellini from Bertagni (the topic of a prior post). Tortellini (tor-teh-LEE-nee) are small pastas stuffed with a variety of fillings, and a favorite pasta dish worldwide (wontons are cousins). They are served in soups—as in the classic dish, tortellini in brodo—or with sauce. We also serve them as hors d’oeuvres and snacks—with dipping sauces, on skewers with complementary meats, cheeses and veggies. Tortellini originated in Bologna and are accompanied by a legend: When the goddess Venus stayed in a tavern on the outskirts of the city, the innkeeper spied on her through the keyhole of her room, but could catch only a glimpse of her navel. Spellbound, he went to the kitchen and, to capture this vision, shaped fresh egg pasta into the bite-sized, navel-shaped tortellini. Larger bites, called tortelloni, are also made.
Tortellini and tortelloni are made by adding a filling to a circle of dough, then folding it in half, making a semicircle of the half and pinching the ends together to form the shape. By the way, the word for navel is not tortellini but ombelico; torte is the past participle of the verb torcere, meaning filled.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Bertagni Ravioli And Tortellini

Bertagni Ravioli and Tortellini
An 8-ounce package, that feeds 4 people as a side, is $5.99 (suggested retail price).
  Want a quick, delicious lunch or dinner? Look for the all-natural filled pastas—ravioli and tortellini—from Bertagni (pronounced burr-TOHN-yee), the oldest filled pasta producer in Italy. They’re found in your grocer’s refrigerator case, and at fine food stores nationwide. The company also does a vigorous private label business, so even if you don’t see the name “Bertagni” on the package, if it has the your store’s name on it and “Product Of Italy” on the package back, it may well be theirs. You’re in for a treat—the products are so good, we enjoyed them with just a dab of butter or olive oil (filled pastas are meant to be enjoyed simply dressed, because the filling is the center of attention). The pastas cook in four minutes or less, after the water boils—a benefit of fresh pasta. Feast on flavors like Basil Ravioli With Char-Grilled Vegetables; Fire-Roasted Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Ravioli; Arugula and Cheese Tortelloni; Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni; and perhaps our favorite (though it’s tough to pick just one), Ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano Tortelloni.
Do these pastas taste so good just because they’re made in Italy (a country that has some of the best food in the world, because they use the finest, freshest ingredients)?
– Read our full review of Bertagni pasta.
– If your ravioli sticks together when cooking, read how to cook fresh pasta.
– There’s more in the Pasta Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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