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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Creamy Penne with Vegetables

If you have been following this blog you likely read about the foodie road trip I made recently. While the trip was mainly a produce gathering trip I managed to make a stop at one of my favourite places to shop, the Bulk Barn®. It was at a different location than the Bulk Barn I wrote about in this post but basically all of the Bulk Barn® stores offer pretty much the same selection. There always seems to be something new to try too!

organic penne product of ItalyOrganic Penne

The current buzz word of the day with respect to food is organic. Now the problem I have with this term is unless you grow the food yourself you are trusting someone else's definition of organic. It's very difficult to look at two tomatoes side-by-side and determine which one is organic. It becomes more difficult when assessing the organic label on processed foods. So there is the trust factor.

At any rate, Bulk Barn® is now carrying a limited variety of organic pastas from Italy. They are on average 69¢ per pound in comparison to the regular pastas at 39¢ per pound. I bought enough penne rigate for a meal just to try it.

creamy penne with vegetablesCreamy Penne Rigate with Vegetables

Penne is a cylindrical shaped past that gets its name from Latin penna meaning feather or quill. There are
two variants: "penne lisce" (smooth) and "penne rigate" (furrowed). Penne is traditionally cooked to al dente then served with pasta sauces such as marinara. The shape makes penne a versatile pasta because the hollow centre allows it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops. The ridges on penne rigate
allows it to hold still more sauce while providing texture to the dish.

I cooked the penne rigate to al dente and drained. Then I place the hot penne on Chinese mustard and topped with a basic béchamel sauce lightly seasoned with Herbs de Provence, sautéed mushrooms, sweet green pepper, sweet banana pepper, Sweet Millions cherry tomatoes, red onion and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. The warmth of the penne released some of the peppery warmth of the Chinese mustard. The end result was a delightfully simple, home style meal that really came in on the frugal side despite the additional cost for the organic pasta.

Would I buy organic pasta again? I have to say that I would likely buy this particular brand of organic pasta again but not necessarily because it is organic but rather for the flavour. The penne had a nice almost a mild nutty flavour and texture that is quite often missing from some of the newer whole wheat pastas. As a specialty pasta this one is well worth buying!

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