I love entertaining and trying out new products so I always found it frustrating when I had to drive around the city for certain products. I always thought, “How great would it be if this stuff could just get delivered to your door?”
So a couple months ago I launched an online specialty food store.
It’s called Stock Fine Foods. The idea of this business is to deliver hard-to-find and higher-end products right to your door. You’re not going to find the same products here as you would at Safeway.
Jenny suggested I feature some of my favorite products, well, that’s a tough one because I love all my products. I wouldn’t be selling them if I didn’t. But it made me think about a conversation we had a few weeks ago, she had asked me what was so special about specialty pasta. I believe she even said somewhere about how she usually buys the cheapest or whatever is on sale.
Here's my answer:
Specialty Pasta is special mainly because of their ingredients. A lot of high-end pastas use only flour and water – and the absolute best flour and water you can find. The way these pastas are made is usually the same way it was made 100 years ago - By hand, with a lot of attention and technique
I find that for the most part anything made by hand is better than items mass-produced and it shows in these pastas.
Now if you can afford it – by all means use specialty pasta all the time, but that can get expensive. So try better pasta with simple pasta dishes like this Carbonara or an Aglio E Olio. These dishes will really let the pasta shine and show you how much a difference it can make.
Here is my absolute favorite Pasta:
Rustichella d'Abruzzo was founded in Italy in 1924 and they make their pasta today the same way they did the day they started. Their recipe is very basic, durum wheat and fresh, natural spring water.
One of my favorite dishes to entertain with is this Carbonara. It is so easy to prepare everything before your guests arrive and then throw it all together right before you’re ready to serve.
Keep in mind, this recipe is not on the light side, you can tone it down a bit if you want, but if you are looking to impress your guests – it is a wow dish if done right.
2 teaspoons Gianni Calogiuri Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 ½ cups whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 large egg yolks
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and garlic and sauté until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Set aside and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley to blend.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghettini and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Next, add the spaghettini and the cream mixture to the pancetta and garlic, return pan to a medium-low heat and toss until the sauce coats the spaghettini thickly, about 4 minutes (do not boil or you might end up scrambling the eggs).
Season the pasta, to taste, with pepper and salt if needed (the pancetta and Parmesan will likely add all the salt you need). Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve.
Source: adapted from Giada De Laurentils – Everyday Italian
Try this out! It is fabulous and super easy to make. As a special offer to Jenny’s readers I’m offering 10 per cent off your entire order. Use the promo code “minivan” and if you live in Calgary I am offering $5 flat rate shipping on all orders over $30. Check me out, you won’t be disappointed.
Facebook link – www.facebook.com/stockfinefoods
Twitter – www.twitter.com/StockFineFoods
Website link: www.stockfinefoods.com