May 15, 2009

pass the pasta (giveaway alert)

I recently realized that I've posted woefully few pasta recipes. Since lasagna, ravioli, and even plain ol' angel hair with butter and parmesan are staples for me, that deficiency needs to be taken care of posthaste.


I might not have noticed the pasta shortage had I not been contacted by Sara, a representative of Garofalo Pasta. She offered to send me some samples of their whole wheat line in return for a review, and I eagerly accepted. This is a company that's been going strong for over 200 years, so it's obvious they're doing something right. What's more, they take great pride in using only the finest raw ingredients, and I can tell you that it's apparent when you take that first bite of their pasta.

I received capellini and whole wheat farfalle. Their product site suggests pairing the farfalle with thick tomato-based or cream sauces. Upon reading this, I immediately remembered a post I'd recently seen and bookmarked--pasta with mint yogurt sauce.

I've been looking for ways to use yogurt in cooking, especially thick and luscious Greek yogurt. My brand of choice is Oikos, from Stonyfield Farm. You'll be seeing more yogurt-happy recipes in the future, assuming I'm able to resist eating the rest of my stash straight from the tub.


So this was perfect. I cooked the pasta and coated it with that mixture of Greek yogurt and mint. Since I've really grown to love the combination of peas and mint, and since peas in pasta are always fun, I decided to toss some of those in, too. The crimson pieces you see are sun-dried tomatoes, which could quite possibly be my favorite component of any pasta dish ever created. This is seriously easy and seriously delicious (thanks to some seriously high-quality ingredients).

Now, what's this about a giveaway, you ask? Well, the folks at Garofalo are ready, willing, and able to send one lucky winner a perfect pasta package containing three cool types of pasta--spaghetti, calamarata, and whole wheat penne rigate. Just imagine the magical dishes a person could create with those! In order to put yourself in the running, leave a comment describing the best pasta dish you've ever had. Were sun-dried tomatoes involved? Was it homemade or in a restaurant? Give me some meaty answers (or vegetarian, as the case may be)! Comments will be accepted until whenever I wake up next Friday, May 22nd, and I'll reveal the randomly-selected winner that morning. Good luck!

81 comments:

Sophie said...

MMMMMM....that pasta dish looks so lovely, Grace! Yummie!

Penny said...

Your pasta dish looks oh so rich. The best pasta dish I have ever had was at an Italian restaurant in Jackson Hole. It was Spaghetti Carbonara with Speck. It was wonderful!

Risa said...

Is it bad that I don't remember the best past dish I have ever had. I think that means I either love all pasta or yet to have anything super spectacular.

Kristen said...

Oh, that looks so decadent! My favorite pasta dish is mushroom ravioli with a truffle cream sauce. :)

Leslie said...

Oh my I have never thought to use yogurt in my pasta. What a great idea.
My favorite pasta? Lobster stuffed ravioli with a cream sauce

kat said...

A yogurt sauce how interesting!
I think the best pasta dish I've ever had is one we make quite often with our homemade sausage, broccoli & fire roasted tomatoes

Julie said...

Homemade spaghetti noodles, with ramps, roasted tomatoes, and nettle pesto. Fantabulous and fresh!

Albany Jane said...

Dude, you use yogurt liberally too! I am trying this on pasta the next time I make some.

I think that one of my best pasta moments was trying pasta with parmesan cheese on it. I grew up with *just* butter, nothing else, so when I tried it, it was magical.

April in CT said...

I love whole wheat pasta! (sorry, I get excited about things I love) I can't really call a pasta dish that knocked my socks off, unfortunately. I do love me a good pasta salad in the summer though!

llcwine said...

One of the best pasta dishes I had was with whole wheat farfalle, morels, fresh baby peas and ham in a light cream sauce....wonder if I can recreate it using yogurt....hmmmmm

Julie said...

That looks delicious! My best pasta dish had to be the Chicken Cannelloni at Macaroni Grill. While it is good it was extra delicious because I ate it not long after giving birth and I hadn't been allowed to eat all day. Pretty much anything would have tasted like heaven to me at that point.

doggybloggy said...

my favorite - fettuccini with seafood alfredo.....the best!

OhioMom said...

In my attempt to get my guys to eat whole wheat pastas, I picked up some Garofalo whole wheat farfalle, my food critic LOVED IT! I now have this product in my pantry .. so for all of you who haven't tried it, you will be pleasantly surprised at the taste.

P.S. the farfalle was also excellent in a minestrone soup I made :)

Anonymous said...

It's hard to choose, but the lobster macaroni and cheese at Avenue A is definitely a frontrunner.

Your pasta dish looks great!

-Kerosena

Cathy said...

Restaurant--lobster ravioli with asparagus.
Homemade--pasta carbonara.
But I just love pasta!

Melanie said...

Penne with gorgonzola sauce. Delish. But your yogurt and mint pasta looks pretty enticing, I must say.

Lynda said...

That pasta looks great!
I seem to love most pasta dishes, but earlier this year I had one in a restaurant that was angel hair pasta with a pesto cream sauce, chicken and sundried tomatoes! YUM!

anudivya said...

The best pasta dish I have had is mine. :)
But if you are asking if it was truly Italian... then no.
I used a wonderful blend of aromatic Indian spices and herbs in the tomato sauce. It was just heavenly paired with whole wheat rotini.

Andrea said...

That pasta dish looks yummy!! I think I'm going to try that next time I make pasta :). Some of my favorite pasta dishes are with feta cheese and fresh tomatoes! Yum!!

oneordinaryday said...

My favorite pasta dish is so weird. You'll laugh, but one of our favorite family comfort foods is homemade mac and cheese with sliced hot dogs in it! I know it sounds crazy but it's so darn good! I do use whole wheat pasta so it isn't even all that bad for us. :)

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

The best pasta dish I ever had was a Spiny Lobster pasta in Santorini, Greece..pics here

Marjie said...

I get greek style yogurt from my milkman. This is a great idea; pasta in a cream sauce is my favorite kind!

Becca said...

Looooooovvvveeee pasta! Would eat it everyday if I could! My favourite dish is one my cousin makes and it's homemade lasagna rolls stuffed with ricotta and other cheeses, fresh herbs, garlic and spinach, topped with an awesome rose sauce.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Mint yogurt sauce! What a unique pasta topping. Never would have thought of it but I best it tastes great.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Your pasta dish looks outstanding and I could eat pasta from sunset till dawn *if only I had the chance*....lol. I just know this dish will taste delicious mmmmm..

Rosie x

cassie o said...

my mom's lasagna

it was my birthday meal every year

i wish i could make it as delicious as she does

Juliana said...

Wow, such a unique sauce...can only imagine how it taste...yum yum. My favorite pasta? At Macaroni Grill...
By the way, thank you so much for visiting my site...love your comment about the color of the shrimp :-)

Ingrid said...

Best pasta dish is one with lots of garlic and either shrimp or scallops! If it has those I'm in and happy!

Thanks for the chance to win some yummy pasta!
~ingrid

The Blonde Duck said...

I could eat pasta every day and be happy. Give me some meatballs or grilled chicken, tasty cheese... or olive oil and black olives...or carabona... or mac and cheese..

Pam said...

What a great sauce - I never thought to use yogurt with pasta. YUM!

lisaiscooking said...

That looks insanely good! The creamy sauce with the peas and sundried tomatoes must have been delicious. Best pasta dish? Last year in Scottsdale I had a pasta primavera with a delicate wine sauce and baby peas, shallots, and tender carrots.

Kim said...

My favorite pasta dish was an asparagus & mushroom ravioli from a local restaurant called Louise's. De-lish!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Oooh I've had yogurt spaghetti (Amy Sedaris's recipe) and it is wonderful indeed. Your pasta looks beautifully creamy! I don't think I qualify for the competition though being in Australia-what a shame!

Stacey said...

Oh boy I am going to have to think about this.... we have had some really good pasta recipes!

That pasta delicious in the photo looks amazing!

dessertobsessed said...

YAY giveaway! the best pasta dish i had was in Bejing... I was majorly, majorly, majorly deprived of real pasta, having been in asia for 3 months, but i went to this restaurant and it was real pasta, made with real parmesan, and real sundried tomatos! it wasn't special, but it was close to what i eat daily in america!! i felt like i was in a dream. usually the only pastas i could find in asia were made of fake cheese and random combinations (like corn and egg pasta) or electric neon green in color

Bunny said...

I love any shape of pasta in tomato sauce smothered in cheese and baked. Slurp!

Lori said...

One of the best pasta dishes I ever had was at a place called Aladins here in Rochester. They have this pasta with roasted eggplant and lots of herbs abd seasoniongs, especially garlic. It was on a bed of linguine. It was outstanding- done perfectly. It was one of the most memorable pasta dishes I have had at a restaurant.

At home penne vodka is a special treat I make from time to time. I love it..

I also love your use of yogurt here. I am so going to try this! I am looking forward to more yogurt dishes.

Heather said...

oh my gosh this sounds amazing! i've never thought about putting yogurt on pasta. my favorite by far is mint, peas, bacon and lemon zest with a light cream sauce. soooo good :)

Fresh Mommy said...

Looks creamy and delish!! And with mint... yum!

:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Lisa said...

Nice use of yogurt! I could use a few more outstanding pasta recipes in my recipe box.

I think the best pasta I ever had was covered in an alfredo sauce. I was really hungry and it tasted so wonderfully soft and luscious. It was so long ago I can't really remember the details. Sigh...

pigpigscorner said...

Looks super creamy! The best pasta dish I had was done by a personal chef, angelhair pasta with sun-dried tomato and minced garlic...so simple yet bursting with flavours.

Donna-FFW said...

This looks wonderful Grace! I enjoyed your review. Bestpasta dish. tough one. one that does come to mind was a shrimp francese served over a lemony pasta.

tiffany @ the garden apartment said...

What an interesting dish, Grace. I love the combination of the yogurt and mint with the pasta. Mmm.
As for myself, I think my favorite pasta dish is spaghetti and meatballs served with homemade garlic bread. There is just something very comforting about eating that meal-- even though its so simple and so easy to make, it always tastes so good!

Gloria said...

Really love this pasta!!! look wonderful Grace yummy!!! Gloria

unconfidential cook said...

Looks delish! The best pasta dishes I've had were ALL the pasta dishes at little Po in NYC.

Emily said...

Yummm that creamy pasta dish looks so good! You're rackin up the free goods, Grace!

Marilyn said...

Pasta in a beautifully rich tomato sauce with meatballs..yuuuuuuum! Marilyn xoxo

Andrew's Mom said...

The best pasta I ever had was a pasta dish at Epcot - with gorgonzola sauce - so good.

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

yum! i love Oikos too, especially the honey flavor... delicious... i heard they're coming out with a strawberry version!

i just discovered your blog <3 it!!!

the best pasta dish i ever had was circa 1998, 11 year old me didn't know what pasta primavera was, with my picky 'i only eat noodles and sauce attitude' and at dinner with some family friends ordered it because i knew what primavera meant in spanish and i love spring- out comes a huge dish of bowties, the freshest veg you could hope for and some high quality olive oil and this girl fell in love :)

Bellini Valli said...

I finally found some Greek yogurt when I was in Seattle...it is simply not available here and I am yogurt starved for sure. My favourite pasta is still what we call our summer spaghetti made with an uncooked sun-warmed tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar....can you see the drool rolling down my chin:D

Kassy said...

I think my favorite pasta is still fettucine alfredo! Mmm!

Baking Monster said...

a butternut squash rissotto with pine nuts and goat cheese.
I do remember superman ice cream by the way it was the best!you have good taste!

MaryBeth said...

Love the pasta, any and all kinds. I made some meat and cheese ravioli with a homemade Alfredo sauce that was simply awesome!!!

Maria said...

I am a pasta lover! My best meal-in Italy, on the patio, enjoying homemade gnocchi with pesto. DELISH!

Elyse said...

I'm embarassed to admit that I'm not a huge pasta fan. That being said, I am a sucker for some pastina with butter and salt. I also really like gnocchi with vodka sauce. Your dish looks totally wonderful!! You might just turn me into a pasta-lover. Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

Culinary Wannabe said...

And I thought I had had just about every pasta dish out there - but never one with yogurt! Going to have to put that on my list. My favorite pasta is carbonara - and I got the hips to prove it! :)

Amanda said...

Chicken riggies all the way, baby! It's a local dish--rigatoni with a garlicky vodka-tomato-cream sauce, cooked chicken breast and sliced hot cherry peppers. Yum!

Actually the best was my own version--my brother would tell me all about it over the phone. At the time I was living in the Atlanta area and couldn't find such a creation without a 1000 mile car trip--so after getting as much info as possible about the flavor, I created it myself. Now that I've moved back home, it's everywhere. Mine still tastes the best, though.

I have yet to try chicken riggies with WW pasta--sounds like a winner to me!

Katie said...

The best tasting pasta dish I ever had was in France in a little corner bistro. Yes I said France not Italy, their lasagna was out of this world good!

Krysta said...

don't enter me but those photos that is some mighty creamy pasta you have there. as for my favorite pasta dish gnocchi with a red duck sauce doesn't count, does it?

Irene said...

Ooooh delicious! I love farfalle paired with peas, there's just something about the colors and textures that is really pleasing! Hmm... best pasta I've ever had... there are just too many to choose from, but I think the best one was one that I made from Chez Panisse Vegetables and it had roasted eggplant, shallots and other yummy veggies.

Daniel B. said...

Three come readily to mind.

1) A little 9-table restaurant in San Francisco that had one oven and one burner for pasta made a pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter. It was topped with the sage leaves that had been "cooked" in the butter. Divine.

2) The first time I had oricchiette with broccoli rabe, garlic and red pepper flakes at a Trattoria in Berkeley. The pasta had great tooth and texture. It was such a delicious simple dish, we started to regularly make it at home.

3) A good friend of mine who is an accomplished cook got his hands on some guanciale, and made a very traditional Carbonara that blew the pants off anything made out of bacon or pancetta.

Sophie said...

Love how creamy this looks, Grace :)! I love using yogurt, it's one of my favorite baking ingredients. I've only made it with a savory greek dish once but loved it! That give-away sounds great, man, if only I could eat gluten lol! :D

Robin Sue said...

The best I have ever had was a homemade pasta with marinara sauce. It was so fresh and delicious!

splatter said...

My favorite pasta dish is one I grew up on - ricotta cheese, bacon, peas, and a little butter. Salt and pepper to taste. I loved this as a kid!

Bridgett said...

Ah this looks delicious Grace! My favorite would be a tagliatelle with asparagus, creminis and chives in a parmesan creme fraiche sauce. Heaven.

Paula said...

I love creamy pasta ... any type will do. I especially like good old cream sauce with sauteed chicken and broccoli. I bet the Greek Yogurt added a wonderful tang to the sauce. Mmmm ... pasta ... sauce .... heaven on the hips! :-)

Maris said...

The best pasta dish I've ever had was baked penne with sausage and three cheeses from a restaurant in Boston called Rustic Kitchen. It just hit the spot and I so love baked ziti!

Helene said...

I love making pastas at home. I sauté garlic in olive oil, add sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and serve this with angel hair. Takes only couples minutes to make and it's really good.

Jude said...

Sounds so light and refreshing with the yogurt and mint. Gotta remember to pick up Oikos one day.

LilSis said...

One of the best pasta dishes that I ever had was an angel hair dish from Patrizio's in Dallas. It was loaded with garlic, chicken, olives, artichokes, and parmesan, of course.

Evie said...

Crab stuffed ravioli in a lemon cream sauce. A nice christmas eve treat!

Shelley said...

The best pasta dish I have eaten recently was a five cheese ziti with baked parmesan and mozzerella on the top. A creamy tomato sauce with chunks of juicy tomato in it. Store bought at Olive Garden. And running a close second was the chicken and gnocchi soup.

Shelley said...

Here's my email address, just in case you pick me.

shelley32177@gmail.com

melissa said...

the best pasta i've had has to be in Rome on my honeymoon. It was tortellini in an arrabiata sauce. The pasta was cooked just perfect, and the sauce was just spicy enough to complement the cheese. Like most of the dishes we ate that week, there was nothing spectacular about any of the ingredients, but the magic seemed to happen in the preparation of those ingredients.

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

The best pasta I ever had was right in my very own kitchen. I have to say, I make a mean baked ziti thatis one of my most requested dishes.

Shelly said...

I've never used yogurt with pasta...cream cheese, yes, but not yogurt Sounds great! The best pasta dish I've had is a simple red clam sauce with linguine or spaghetti.

jacquie said...

pasta w/ a simple sauce of ripe tomatoes, summer squash, zuchinni, mushrooms simmered together. towards the end throw in some fresh rosemary and basil thrown in. add to the pasta and top w/ parmasian cheese. add some crusty bread on the side to scoop up the sauce. and a glass of wine. a simple yet delicious summer meal.

foodhoe said...

how intriguing! I've never thought of using those ingredients but they sound brilliant.

Julie said...

Yum...your pasta looks wonderful! One of my favorite dishes (it's so hard to pick!) is a romano chicken scampi and a local Italian place. It's so loaded with garlic, and capers, and olive oil...it's awesome!

Hornsfan said...

Delicious looking dish Grace! I love pasta with simple things like just butter, salt and a little cheese...but I'm also a huge fan of Asian noodle dishes, I think my favorite has to be from a Thai place around the corner that does the most delicious Drunken Noodles, they are chocked full of veggies, meat or seafood of your choice and are just covered in the most delicious sauce! Yum, I'm hungry just thinking about it :)

Steph @ AnnoyinglyDomestic.com said...

That looks totally yummy.

The best pasta I've ever had? A tie. Simon & Seiforts in Anchorage, Alaska had this to die for handmade linguini with a smoked fontina (I think) cream sauce and beautifully cooked chicken breast (tasted like it was roasted on the bone). It was my post wedding dinner and it will haunt me in my sleep. I'm still trying to recreate the perfect thick, al dente pasta...

I also love "Chinese Pan Fried Noodles."

That is tied with my husbands homemade pasta with Cajun cream sauce, shrimp, and scallops (or just chicken). OMG...is it any wonder that I've gained weight since being married?!