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Today is 'International Pasta Day'

MANILA, Philippines – Better get your plate of pasta because today, we are celebrating International Pasta day!

World Pasta Day was founded in 1995 at the World Pasta Congress by 40 international pasta producer and is celebrated annually around the world.

On Friday, International Pasta Organization (IPO) conducted the IPO Annual General Assembly and the celebration of the event in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Carrying the theme "Pasta: Added Value for Family Nutrition,” the conference aims to  recognize the health and economic value of pasta along with pasta recipes from around the world.

Pasta provides carbohydrates, a good source of energy and fiber, which helps fight chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. It also contains selenium, a mineral that stimulates antioxidant enzymes that protect your cells from damage. It is also a good alternative for carrots as it contains while lutein and zeaxanthin that support healthy vision. These are just among all the benefits that pasta gives to human body.

To celebrate International pasta day, here are some easy-to-cook recipes from Martha Stewart:

Spaghetti carbonara

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Ingredients:

1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions:

  1. Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

Peppadew Pesto Spaghetti with Feta and Arugula

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Peppadews plus 1 tablespoon brine
1/4 cup toasted blanched almonds
1/2 smashed garlic clove
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup crumbled feta
3 cups arugula

Directions:

  1. Pulse Peppadews and brine, almonds, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With machine running, add olive oil to form a loose paste.
  2. Cook spaghetti in a pot of generously salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and toss both with Peppadew paste, salt, and pepper. Fold in feta and arugula.

Salmon Pasta

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
Salt and pepper
1 one-pound salmon fillet with skin (about 1 inch thick)
1 pound corkscrew or other short pasta
10 ounces spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed well
1/2 cup sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Heat the broiler. Put fennel seeds in a small, self-sealing plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin. Add parsley, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the bag, and shake to mix.
  2. Press the mixture onto the skinless side of the salmon. Broil salmon, skin side down, until it is no longer red in the center, about 8 minutes.
  3. Flake the fish with a fork. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, about 13 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water, and drain pasta. Return it to the warm pot, add spinach, and toss.
  4. In a bowl, mix together sour cream, lemon juice to taste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons pasta water.
  5. Put pasta on plates, top with salmon, and drizzle with the sour-cream mixture. Or simply toss pasta and spinach in the pot with the salmon and the sour-cream mixture, adding pasta water as needed, and serve.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients:

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 pound ground beef chuck
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
3/4 pound spaghetti

Directions:

  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a bowl, combine Parmesan, parsley, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add beef and breadcrumbs; mix gently. Form into 16 balls.
  2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and return to pot; add meatballs and sauce, and toss gently. Serve with Parmesan.

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