Cooking Catelli Pasta with Chef Lynn Crawford!!
Last night, Catelli hosted an awesome cooking event, for a group of food bloggers and dietitians here in Calgary, with Chef Lynn Crawford, the Chef-Owner of Ruby Watchco in Toronto, and “Pitchin' In” & “Chopped Canada” on the Food Network Canada and The Cooking Channel. It was to showcase their new line of pastas: “Healthy Harvest, Ancient Grains” made with 100% Canadian wheat and quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum.
Health Benefits of Ancient Grains Pasta
This new pasta is exciting as it has as much fibre as their Smart Pasta, which has 8 grams of fibre compared to the typical white pasta that has only 5 grams. But the difference between the Smart Pasta and their new Ancient Grains pasta is that in the latter, the high fibre content is from including the whole grain into the pasta. The Smart Pastas add a processed “oat hull fibre” or “inulin”, fibre derived from chicory root. In this case, the fibre has been isolated from the grain, thus losing all the other health benefits to eating a whole grain such as antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium and iron. These whole grain antioxidants have shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40% in those that eat three servings every day.
So began trying the new pasta… Chef Lynn in her fabulousness of fun and flair, she cooked up a couple of great recipes. First was very, warm your heart type of basic marinara sauce on Catelli’s rotini pasta. The recipe she says is in her Pitchin’ In Cookbook. Which honestly, if that sauce is any indication of what else is in there, it’s totally worth it.
This new pasta has a better texture than other whole wheat pastas. I think the different whole grains give it a lighter feel.
Next up, was again a deliciously simple pesto on spagettini. Which Chef Lynn pointed out is better because you get more surface area for a better saucey goodness to pasta ratio! Here’s a shot of blogger Darrin from For the Love Of… helping Chef Lynn out by doing a bit of a pesto jig with the food processor. Apparently the dancing part is crucial to the recipe! It was a very simple blitz of a couple of big handfuls of basil (maybe 2 cups) 2 garlic cloves, ½ c of pine nuts, about ¾ c of olive oil, and ½ c of parmigiano-reggiano cheese. And voila!
Then it was our turn to try our hand at making a dish. We made a Chilled Noodle Salad with wasabi ginger sauce.
Chef Lynn notes that these heartier whole grain pastas are great for cold noodle dishes as they have a bit more body.
I have to say that I’m not really a fan of cold dishes, but I loved this one. I had leftovers for lunch today and it was even better after having marinated a bit.
She gave us little pointers on how to julienne vegetables and other knife skills.
Here’s the recipe:
Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 min
1 pkg (340 g) Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains Spaghettini
2 cups (500 ml) snow peas, thinly sliced diagonally
1 cup (250 ml) shelled edamame
1 small English cucumber
2 cups (500 ml) napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup (250 ml) red pepper, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml) cilantro leaves
2 tbsp (30 ml) black sesame seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp (45 ml) canola oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon zest
2 tsp (10 ml) brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml) grated fresh ginger
wasabi to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Rinse under cold water until well chilled; transfer to large bowl and set aside.
In a pot of boiling water, cook snow peas and edamame until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water until well chilled; set aside.
Meanwhile, halve the cucumber lengthwise and use the end of a spoon to scoop and discard seeds; cut cucumber into julienne strips.
Ginger-Wasabi Dressing: Whisk together rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, sesame oil and ginger. Season with wasabi to taste.
Add cucumber, snow peas, edamame, napa cabbage, red pepper, green onions and avocado to noodles; toss with enough dressing to coat.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and black sesame seeds.
Tip: If you have time, you can chill the noodle dish by refrigerating for 1 to 4 hours.
Per serving: 590 calories, 19 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium, 84 g carbohydrates, 145 g fibre, 13 g sugar, 21 g protein
So this is all of us with Chef Lynn. I had such a blast!!