By John, Grocery Buyer + The Naturalist Contributor
The natural inclination of us mammals as the days grow cooler and shorter is to put on weight for the hibernation season. You may not like it, but it is a biological fact. I say go with it! Store up that energy for the long, slow season ahead and have fun doing it! What better way than with heaping bowls of pasta? Not a boring bowl of mushy spaghetti with jarred sauce and a shaker of so-called parmesan… Not even a good all-day, slow-cooked marinara or Bolognese (as much as I love those, and may eventually share my secret recipes with you folks here)… No, no. We’re going to get a bit more creative, with some help from the Matiz line of delicious Spanish specialty products.
Now, I have documented my love for the noodle here on the Cambridge Naturals blog extensively, with columns on soups and varied noodle dishes and even a previous pasta salad recipe in my BBQ blog, but here we are again with an entire column dedicated to pasta, including yet another pasta salad! I know, I know. But folks, my love for pasta is unending, as are the methods in which it can be prepared. And fear not, gluten-averse friends, because two of this month’s three recipes were designed with you in mind! The third is for our vegan comrades.
First up is a delicious tapas-inspired gluten-free pasta salad made with pipparas, a crunchy Basque pepper with a mild, pickly flavor. Traditionally served with black olives, I’m pairing them here with tuna and sharp cheddar as well, and I gotta tell you, it’s pretty… pretty… pretty great.
PICKLED PEPPER PASTA SALAD WITH TUNA
- 1 jar Matiz Garlic All-i-oli
- 2 tbsp Mustard & Co Golden Dijon Mustard
- 2 1/2 cups Jovial Gluten-Free Fussili
- 3oz (half a jar) Matiz Pipparas and 1 tbsp piparra pickling liquid
- 2 5-oz cans Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna
- 1 cup cubed Neighborly Farms Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- l cup Alive & Well Black Olives, de-pitted and sliced
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Cambridge Naturals bulk sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta in salted water until done, about 7-8 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is room temperature.
- Toss the fully drained pasta in a large bowl with tuna, cheddar, olives, pickles, and scallions.
- In a small bowl, whisk the all-i-oli, mustard, and piparra liquid until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir about 3/4 of the dressing into the salad until mixed.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours until cold.
- Reserve the remaining dressing to add just before serving, so the pasta salad won't dry out.
- Serve and enjoy!
Next, let’s take things from the north of Spain all the way to the Caribbean islands! Our Matiz Paella Sofrito is good for do much more than paella, and once you try it in our Puerto Rican-inspired Sofrito Chicken Pasta I have a feeling you’ll want to put it on everything!
PUERTO RICAN STYLE SOFRITO CHICKEN PASTA
- 1 tablespoon Canaan Nabali olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons adobo, divided
- 1/2 bell pepper (any color), sliced
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup Matiz Paella Sofrito
- 2 teaspoons Cambridge Naturals bulk West Indies rub
- 1/4 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
- 1/2 cup Five Way Foods Chicken Bone Broth
- 8 oz Jovial Gluten-Free Penne
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and season with 1 teaspoon of the adobo. Brown the chicken and then remove from pan. Set aside.
- Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and sofrito and bring to a simmer, about 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of adobo, west indies rub, oregano, black pepper and bone broth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Return the chicken to the sauce. Cover and simmer on low until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, boil the pasta according to the box instructions and drain.
- Pour the drained pasta into the chicken and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Our final dish this month is, as promised, one for the vegans. It is, maybe surprisingly, a “cream” sauce! With cheezy, delicious Rawmesan, fresh baby spinach, and fantastic Matiz artichoke hearts, this one will be a real crowd-pleaser!
CREAMY VEGAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE PASTA
- 2 tbsp Miyoko's Cultured Vegan Butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- 12oz vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups Milkadamia unsweetened macadamia nut milk
- 1/4 tsp Curio Spice Co. Aegean Salt
- Freshly cracked Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
- 8oz Semolina Fusilli
- 1/4lb fresh baby spinach
- 1 jar Matiz artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup Rawmesan
Mince the garlic and add to a skillet with the vegan butter and sautee.
Add the broth, milkadamia, Aegean salt, some freshly cracked pepper and the pasta to the skillet. Make sure pasta is submerged, and cover. Allow the skillet to come to a simmer, and then bring the temperature to low.
Simmer for 12 minutes. While simmering, drain the artichoke hearts and chop them into smaller pieces.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of herbed salt, west indies rub, oregano, black pepper and bone broth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Once the pasta is tender, add the spinach a handful at a time to the sauce and pasta and toss til it wilts.
Stir in the artichoke hearts and half the Rawmesan. Top with the additional half the Rawmesan and serve.
There it is! Now that you’re stuffed full of delicious pasta, you are getting sleepy. Very sleepy. Close those eyes mama and papa bears, and let’s drift off into a sweetly soporific state ‘til Springtime.