Did you really think we’d let National Pasta Day come and go without notice? Of course not! After all, here at FRESH, pasta is one of our favorite food groups.
On Thursday, October 17th, what better way to celebrate National Pasta Day than to try some of our fresh, handmade pasta? Adding fresh pasta to our charcuterie department has won over many people, but some still ask, “Why fresh pasta?”
Most importantly, the taste and texture are significantly different than dried pasta and you must try it yourself to realize the difference. Also, it’s made with only a few, very fresh ingredients and prepared in small batches to ensure quality and flavor.
Another significant bonus, it cooks in just minutes. To prepare the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook for 2 1/2 minutes. For the ravioli, cook for 3 1/2 minutes. The great thing about cooking fresh pasta is that you always know when it’s done because it floats to the top.
Another important tip is to salt the water liberally after it comes to a boil and before you add the pasta. This gives a great boost to the flavor of the noodles. It tastes so good plain you can easily enjoy it with just a drizzle of Italian extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. You won’t even miss the sauce.
Also, be sure to check the pasta aisle for a variety of dried pasta. We have some new pastas that come all the way from Italy and are made using traditional, authentic techniques. There’s also a good assortment of gluten free and flavored pastas that are made with alternative flours, whole wheat flour or have vegetable powders included for color and taste.
We’ve got you covered when it comes to sauce. Fresh sauce is available in charcuterie and in the aisles. We have endless options that will please any palate. Or you can make your own using Italy’s famous San Marzano tomatoes. That’s my favorite way to make sauce and I always keep a batch on hand in my freezer for pasta cravings.
Give it a try and celebrate National Pasta Day just like an Italian!
San Marzano Marinara
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped (1 tablespoon, dried)
Over medium heat add oil to a large sauce pan. When oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté until soft but ot brown. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onion and garlic. Let the paste caramelize slightly. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Begin adding San Marzano tomatoes and crush while adding with a wooden spoon. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
Add the herbs, pepper and salt and stir to combine. Let simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Taste with a piece of bread and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If you make adjustments, simmer for another 15 minutes. When desired flavor is achieved, remove from heat and add chopped basil. Note: If you think the flavor is too acidic you can add a pat of butter or 1 teaspoon of sugar. If adding sugar, let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes and test again. Makes 6 cups.