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RECIPE: Spaghetti Pie For National Pasta Month

Try something new for National Pasta Month.

It could be as simple as a shape of pasta you haven’t tried before, from wagon wheels (ruote) to strozzapreti (photo #4—the name means “priest stranglers—here’s why†).

Perhaps it’s baked pasta, like manicotti, pastitsio or ziti.

How about this fun approach to baked pasta: Spaghetti Pie, a recipe from DeLallo.

This spaghetti pie is called Pasta Frittata in Italy.

The spaghetti is tossed with hot Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and San Marzano-Style tomatoes.

Don’t want sausage? Substitute your ingredient(s) of choice.

It’s not your grandmother’s spaghetti dinner—unless, perhaps, your nonna was Italian. Have fun with it!


  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound loose hot Italian sausage (removed from casing)
  • 1 jar (12-ounces) roasted red peppers, diced
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can 28-ounces San Marzano diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound package spaghetti
  • ¾ cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Fresh-ground pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2½ cups fontina cheese, grated
  • 1½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil, chopped

    1. HEAT the oven to 425°F. Butter a 9-½-inch springform pan.

    2. COOK the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

    3. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed pepper; cook for 1 minute.

    4. ADD the sausage and roasted peppers. Cook, breaking the meat into small bits until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes.

    5. STIR in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits from the pan, until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    6. WHISK together the milk, eggs, pepper and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large pot (you can use the pasta pot). Stir in the cheddar, fontina and 1 cup of parmesan. Add the sausage mixture and the spaghetti. Stir until combined.

    7. TRANSFER the mixture to the springform pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

    8. REMOVE the pan from the oven and turn on the broiler. Sprinkle the pie with the remaining parmesan and fresh basil. Broil until the cheese is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the inside of the pan.

    9. LET the pie rest about 10 minutes, then release and remove the sides of the pan. Cut the pie into slices and serve.
    Also try these pasta pies:

  • Baked Rigatoni Pie
  • Stuffed Lasagna pie
  • Spaghetti Carbonara Pie

    Spaghetti Pie Recipe
    [1] Bake a “pie”: a new way to enjoy spaghetti (photos #1, #2, #3, #4 © DeLallo).

    [2] There’s no pie crust: just spaghetti with sausage, red peppers and more.

    [3] “Slice” is no longer reserved for pizza.

    [4] Strozzapreti: hoping to choke the priest so he stops freeloading (photo courtesy Alchetron).






    *Strozzapreti literally means “priest stranglers” or “priest chokers.” This twisted tubular pasta (pronounced STROAH-tsa-PREH-tee) was named centuries ago when it was common practice in Italy to let priests eat for free in restaurants and homes. According to the story, some restaurateurs wished that the “freeloaders” would choke on the pasta course before they could get to the more expensive meat and fish courses. The apocryphal story is that they rolled a shape that might get lodged in the priest’s throat. Here’s more of the history.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Eat Four Prunes For National Four Prunes Day

    [1] Prunes are dried plums (photo © Mallivan | Panther Media).

    [2] Plums are laid out on wooden trays to dehydrate (photos #2 and #3 © California Prunes).

    [3] Prunes dehydrate to 1/3 the size of plums.


    October 17th is Four Prunes Day.

    Why four prunes?

    It was named after earlier medical advice to help digestive regularity.

    The recommendation is that eating four to nine prunes daily will aid digestion.

    Why? Prunes are a fiber food, but also contain fructans and sorbitol, fermentable sugars that can have a laxative effect.

    Even people with no problem like to eat them for general gut health: A healthy gut is a healthy immune system.

    Prunes are also a nutrition powerhouse and packed with B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and boron and Vitamin K.

    Alas, this homeopathic tie to constipation was so widely touted that prunes, which are dried plums, were perceived by American growers to be stigmatized.

    Sales dropped over time, as more and more over-the-counter remedies for constipation appeared in pharmacies.

    Prunes were more top-of-mind as a digestive remedy than as a snack and recipe ingredient.

    As a result, plum growers took to marketing and in 2001 successfully petitioned the government to allow prunes to be rebranded as “dried plums.”

    This was a purely American undertaking. Other cultures love prunes unreservedly. The French, for example, prepare prunes stuffed with foie gras as a delicacy.

    We have our own favorite ways to use prunes.

    And we’re exercising our choice to call the fruit prunes, not dried plums.

    Most prunes sold in the U.S. are grown in California from a particular variety of plum that dries the best.

  • Farmers determine harvest time by checking fruit firmness and sugar content with a tool called a light refractometer.
  • After the plums are shaken off of the trees, they are placed onto wooden trays where the fruit is dehydrated (photo #2).
  • The Golden State is the world’s largest producer of prunes, supplying 99% of the U.S. supply and nearly half of the world supply!
  • It takes 3 pounds of plums to make 1 pound of prunes.
    Only about three-quarters of a pound of prunes are eaten each year per capita in the U.S.

    These dried fruits are delicious. Eat more prunes!

    For more information and lots of recipes, visit the California Prunes website.




    RECIPE: Antipasto Pasta For National Pasta Day

    October 17th is National Pasta Day. Yesterday we published one special pasta recipe. Here’s another.

    Some people like to have an antipasto plate before the pasta course.

    But this recipe from DeLallo combines them together. It’s fun food, mixing antipasto ingredients into the pasta.

    Your plate of pasta is loaded up with pepperoni, olives, artichokes, zesty pickled pepper rings and smoky roasted tomatoes.

    If your favorite antipasto ingredient is missing from this list, just toss it in!

    We had some prosciutto in the fridge, so we added that as well as bocconcini, which we halved and used as a garnish.

    The recipe follows. If you have trouble finding the best Italian ingredients locally, check the DeLallo website.

    It has everything an Italian food lover could ask for.


  • 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti or fettuccine†
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon DeLallo Tomato Paste
  • 1 7-ounce short stick pepperoni, sliced
  • 1 package (7 ounces) jumbo pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 jar (5.3 ounces) castelvetrano olives, drained
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Italian roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) marinated artichokes, drained and halved*
  • ¾ cup mild banana pepper rings (substitute pepperoncini)
  • Garnish: parmesan cheese, snipped fresh herbs

    1. BRING 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

    2. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and pasta water. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the pepperoni, olives, tomatoes, artichokes and pepper rings. Cook until heated through, about 4-5 minutes.

    3. ADD the cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine. Serve divided on plates or family-style.
    > The Different Types Of Pasta

    > The History Of Pasta


    [1] Combine the antipasto with a plate of spaghetti (both photos © DeLallo).

    [2] Delallo is an excellent source for top-quality Italian ingredients.


    *We used unmarinated canned artichokes, since most of the marinated artichokes we’ve tried have been too salty for us. Also, the recipe doesn’t need the extra, cheaper oil, even though the marinated hearts are drained.

    †The difference between spaghetti and fettuccine: Both are in the category called “long cuts” or “ribbon pasta.” The main difference is that spaghetti is round, and fettuccine is flat and wider. As a comparison, a thinner version of spaghetti is spaghettini; a thicker version is spaghettoni. A thinner version of fettuccine is linguine, a thicker version is tagliatelle. Even wider is pappardelle.



    RECIPE: Try A New Pasta Recipe For National Pasta Day

    October 17th is National Pasta Day, October is National Pasta Month. Most celebrants will head for their favorites. Fettuccine Alfredo? Lasagna? Spaghetti and meatballs?

    We think it calls for something different and special. How about a recipe you’ve never had before?

    This one from DeLallo has a sauce unlike you’ve never had: both goat cheese and mascarpone, blended with fig spread, orange juice and chicken broth.

    It’s cheesy, fruity and savory—and topped with crumbled prosciutto.

    The DeLallo recipe uses a form of pasta we’ve never made: tagliatelle nests (photo #3). Because we didn’t have the time to experiment with cooking the nests (it’s supposed to be easy), we defaulted to fettuccine ribbons.

    “Tagliatelle is an interesting type of pasta,” says Jacqui of The Pasta Project, a great resource for any pasta lover who wants to know more about the different cuts and recipes that show them off.

    “[Tagliatelle] pasta ribbons have to have a particular width (normally 6-8mm wide). Make them too narrow and they could become fettuccine. Thinner still, and you may end up with bavette or tagliolini. Make them too wide and they turn into pappardelle.”

    She gives us a history of tagliatelle, below.
    Why Are Tagliatelle Sold In Nests?

    Tagliatelle are typically found in nest forms. You’ve probably seen them tagliatelle nests in photos if not in person (photos #3 and #4).

    Why sell them in nests?

    For cooks who want to present the pasta in a different format, nests are ready-made bundles of individual portions.

    You can find nests in angel hair, fettuccine (photo #3) and other ribbons, as well.

    Some cooks like nests because with wider noodles, according to some sources, there is a greater problem with the flat sides sticking together and cooking unevenly.

    You need to spend more time over the pot with a pasta fork, separating the strands.

    When the wide, flat noodles are sold as a nest, they go into the pot already separated, and adherence between strands is minimal [source].


  • 8 slices prosciutto (about 1/4” thick)
  • 1 (8.82-ounce) package tagliatelle nests (substitute fettuccine ribbons)
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar fig spread (photo #2)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled
  • 4 ounces softened mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
    Want some more color? Toss in some green peas.


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. Transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Once cooled, crumble and set aside. Meanwhile…

    2. BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.

    3. COMBINE the fig spread, chicken broth, orange juice, salt and pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in cheeses and lemon zest until sauce thickens.

    4. TOSS the hot pasta with the sauce and stir until well coated. Serve topped with the crumbled prosciutto.


    [1] This recipe is an unusual combination of ingredients that’s a creative success (photos #1, #2 and #3 © DeLallo).

    [2] The sauce uses some fig jam/fig spread. If you can’t find it locally, get it online from DeLallo. Use the rest of it on a cheese board or with ham, grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches.

    [3] Nests are available in fettuccine (above), tagliatelle, even angel hair.

    [4] Why use nests? To create charming recipes like this, “portion-controlled” (photo © Ina Wesual | Unsplash).



    The legend is that tagliatelle was invented in 1487, when Giovanni II of Bentivoglio, Lord of Bologna, asked his chef to prepare a banquet in honor of Lucrezia Borgia.

    Lucrezia was stopping in Bologna on her way to Ferrara to marry Duke Alfonso D’Este. Bentivoglio wanted to honor the bride-to-be.

    (Don’t think of him as Mr. Nice Guy: He was a tyrant.)

    The chef, Mastro Zefirano, cooked a memorable banquet which included a new style of pasta. The Maestro cut wide lasagne ribbons, made with egg, into long golden strips of pasta, in honor of the bride’s legendary blonde hair.

    This pasta became known as tagliatelle from the Italian tagliare, to cut.

    Fun story, but according to Wikipedia, this was a joke invented by humorist Augusto Majani in 1931.

    Alas, he did not provide more of a history. Search back and you find that tagliatelle and its flat cousins originated in the Emilia-Romagna of Northern Italy, dating back to the 15th century. It has become a traditional pasta in most areas of North and Central Italy.

    Tagliatelle was originally always made as an egg pasta (as was the wider tagliolini). However, today, you can often find it as a durum pasta, as well.

    Today, many pasta companies make tagliatelle by extrusion and sell it dried in nests form, for people who want to serve individual nests (see photo # 4) [source].



    HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL: Porter’s Rye Way To Hell Punch

    [1] Porter’s Rye Way To Hell: great name, delicious drink (both photos © Ogden’s Own Distillery).

    [2] You don’t have to be as tough as this gunslinger to enjoy a shot of Porter’s Rye. See his story in the section below.


    On this socially-distant Halloween, here’s a fun way to celebrate Halloween with your pod.

    The recipe is courtesy of Porter’s Small Batch Rye, an artisan rye handcrafted by Ogden’s Own in Utah.

    Recipe notes:

  • If you’re not a rye drinker, substitute bourbon or your favorite clear spirit.
  • Prep time is 10 minutes, plus apple carving time.
  • The yield is 10-20 servings, depending on portion sizes.
  • Although the photo shows the cocktail in a drink dispenser with a spigot, you can use a punch bowl.
  • If you’re cutting the recipe in half, a large pitcher will do.
    For the “evil apple” garnish (see photo #1), you’ll want an apple variety that browns very slowly, or not at all. These varieties include Ambrosia, Cortland, Empire and Gala apples.

    If you want to use the apples as garnishes for individual glasses, get the smallest ones you can find. You may also need straws so the drink can be sipped through the apple’s core.


  • 6 cups of apple cider
  • 25 ounces Porter’s Small Batch Rye Whiskey
  • 25 drops bitters (Angostura Aromatic Bitters or maple bitters)
  • 20 ounces hard cider
  • 7 cups of ice*
  • 1 teaspoon absinthe per glass (substitute Herbsaint or Pernod, or secondarily, Ouzo or Sambuca)
  • Optional garnish: red apples, carved with scary pumpkin faces

    1. MIX the rye, apple cider and and bitters in a large drink dispenser or punch bowl. It can be mixed and stored up to two days before serving, to infuse the flavors. Before serving…

    2. ADD in the hard cider and ice. Enhance the taste with additional bitters as desired. When ready to celebrate and enjoy, rim each party glass with a drizzle of absinthe†. Add ice cubes to glass and pour in the infusion. Garnish glasses and punch bowl with a crew of spooky carved apples for a hair-raising experience when served.


    Porter’s Rye Whiskey is a 95/5 blend of rye and barley. This 90 proof straight rye whiskey is aged in heavily charred new oak barrels for more than three years.

    American rye whiskey is similar to bourbon, but must be distilled from at least 51% rye‡ grain.

    Rye whiskey was the most popular type of whiskey in the U.S. until the start of Prohibition in 1919.

    Rye has been going through a resurgence in recent years, with both artisan distillers and big brands.

    Ogden’s Own is first released approximately 1,000 cases of Porter’s Rye in 2019.

    Who’s the man on the bottle?

    The Porter’s whiskey line is named for Orrin Porter Rockwell, a notorious gunslinger and enforcer in the Old West. It is said that he killed more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn and Bat Masterson combined, earning him the menacing title, the “Destroying Angel.”

    Paradoxically, he was a devout Church member and bodyguard for both Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement, and Brigham Young, who succeeded him.

    Back to the rye:

    Rye whiskies are produced in both the U.S. (e.g. Jim Beam) and Canada (e.g. Canadian Club).

    However, Canadian whiskey, which is often referred to and labeled as rye whisky for historical reasons, may or may not actually include any rye grain in its production process [source].

    Historically, in Canada, corn-based whisky that had some rye grain added to the mash to give it more flavor, came to be called rye. So if you’re looking for real rye, ask or stick with a big brand (all Canadian Club expressions are rye-based).

    But—we say this as patriotic Americans—stick to American brands to be sure.

  • Here’s more about Porter’s Small Batch Rye.
  • Here’s more about Odgen’s Own Distillery.

    *For a punch bowl, freeze a block of ice in advance. You can use a bundt pan or other mold to create an attractive shape (we use a star-shaped gelatin mold).The larger the piece of ice, the slower it will melt. Ice cubes will melt much faster than a block of ice, and will dilute the punch that much faster.

    †We used a Q-Tip.

    ‡Bourbon can be made from 51% corn or rye, and can be a blend of both.



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