Are You Ready to Rep Your Region?
Last year, we teamed up with Barilla Pasta, the most widely-used pasta in the world, to give our community of chefs some exciting challenges, and some opportunities to win BIG.
If you missed your chance to enter, or think that you deserved to win, pay attention! You’ve got another chance.
This February, we’ll be calling on chefs across the country to “Represent Your Region” with your most imaginative and beautiful pasta recipes. If you enter and are selected to compete, we’ll ship you an order of Barilla Pasta and let you work your magic. Ten finalists will be selected from social media, and one grand-prize winner will be invited to attend Barilla’s exclusive Modern Casual retreat at Farmer Lee Jones’ Culinary Vegetable Institute. The retreat will feature educational sessions, hands-on cooking, a guest trend lecturer and the amazing facility at the CVI, plus a one-day culinary immersion of Cleveland and its most sought after chefs.
Next month, we’ll announce the full details of how to enter. For now, start practicing those pasta recipes and get some ideas from our last batch of finalists!
Past Winner: Nancy Manlove
If you need some more inspiration, look no further than chef Nancy Manlove, the winner of our 2016 National Pasta Month contest. We had partnered with Barilla Pasta to give our community of chefs the opportunity to win a trip for two to Italy. After receiving over a thousand tantalizing submissions, we did the nearly-impossible job of picking the best. When all was said and done, chef Manlove emerged as the winner!
Chef Nancy Manlove fell in love with cooking as a teenager, but began her adult life by pursuing a career in corporate America. In 2012, she couldn’t resist the call of the kitchen any longer. She learned under the guidance of award-winning chef Urs Schmid, and quickly worked her way up to the top ranks of the culinary world. We recently caught up with Nancy to ask her a few questions about her philosophy, her travel plans, and her love of pasta! She even shared one of her award-winning recipes with us.
What are some of your biggest culinary influences?
“I am a super fan of Chefs Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, James Beard, Paul Bocuse and of course Auguste Escoffier. I truly adore and watch any show or feature they have been on or cookbooks they have produced that I can get my hands on, so I guess you might say I love some oldies but goodies of our industry. My first culinary influencers was naturally my mother and her mother (“Old Momma”) who knew their way around a home kitchen and fed they families excellent meals. Today as I continue on my path of culinary learning and discovery my influencers have been my culinary instructors and inspiring Executive Chefs: Urs Schmid and David Skinner. I am influenced by unique techniques and avant-garde concepts in food, flavors, plating and offerings to clients. While I love the classics I also enjoy playing with new recipes.”
How do you approach the use of pasta in your cooking?
“As a long-time home cook I always used the ready to use store bought pasta. I rarely make my own pastas, even today as a professional chef. It’s so easy and effortless to serve proven pastas like Barilla in my dishes. I use my fair share of pastas, in all kinds of applications and cuisines. It’s a perfect add to help stretch a meal and offer great sauces and toppings. The pastabilities are endless. I use it in everything from a breakfast/brunch frittata to creative desserts, from snacks to stacks. Barilla products give me a trusted brand that is great quality and cooking convenience. As a young bride many, many years ago, I can remember dropping some pasta in a pot of water and worrying about under cooking or over cooking it and like so many hacks that are shared today in the realm of cooking tidbit, I tossed a cooked pasta against the wall to see if it would stick! That was suppose to tell me if my pasta was cooked! I have many memories of my awesome homemade meatballs and meat sauce over the perfect al dente cooked pasta. Pasta and wines, proteins and pastas. They go so well together, but sometimes I just want a bowl of angel hair with butter, salt and pepper!”
Why do you use Barilla Pasta at home or on the job?
“High quality and convenience. It’s reasonably priced at my local grocery who stocks a wide variety. I can say that at the restaurants I have worked at, there is a big pot of salted water on the stove ready to drop some Barilla pasta into for these same reasons.”
What are you most excited about on your upcoming trip to Italy?
“I am over the moon stoked about seeing Italy. This is a first-time visit, but I have a feeling that I’ll go back later, as folks tell me you can’t see or do it all in one trip. This is a trip of a lifetime and just to be able to have Barilla sponsor this prized trip is unbelievable. I am so looking forward to seeing their headquarters and manufacturing plant and watching their pasta be made, dried, and packaged for the world to enjoy. Few folks get to see the operation from the inside-out and I can’t wait for be there. Who wouldn’t be excited to take a trip like this? To be able to see the region in and around Parma and experience the food and see sights is going to be unbelievable! My husband has always drooled about seeing historic Italy.
PS… we want to see the POPE too!”
Barilla Angel Hair Pasta and Escargot
Barilla Angel Hair Pasta
Escargot (I used canned escargots)
Bread Crumbs made from day old French bread
Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Fresh cracked Black Pepper
Place the escargot in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Rinse escargot and then pat dry.
Stuff 3 or 4 snails (depending on their size) inside each empty shell. Mince about 20 snails.
Sauté minced shallots and garlic in butter until tender. Add in wine, salt and pepper. Allow the wine to reduce down and add in minced escargot. Keep warm as this creates the topping that crowns the cooked angel hair pasta.
Make a mixture of bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, minced parsley, salt and pepper and pack into the opening of the escargot shells containing the whole snail meats Place filled shells on small baking pan standing them up against each other so that the filling does not run out while they are being baked. Bake the escargots in a preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until butter is melted and bubbly and bread crumb mixture has just begun to brown.
Boil pasta in salted water until el dente, drain.
Plate by creating a round twirled mound of the cooked angel hair pasta on to each plate and then spoon portion of the minced escargot mixture atop each mound, Garnish with additional parsley. Serve with a portion of the baked stuffed escargot.
Inspired by Nancy’s win and want to get creative with Barilla Pasta yourself? Stay tuned for the full details of the “Represent Your Region” contest to be posted next month! We can’t wait to see your entries.