Yesterday I took a personal ‘time out’ and retreated to the kitchen. We all have our escape, for some it’s the TV, some it’s the man (or girl) cave, for me it’s the kitchen; the kitchen is my girl cave. Creating healthy yummy food in the kitchen comes right up close to a great workout/cardio session as one of my favorite stress relievers. Last Sunday on my way home from an amazing weekend, impromptu adventure; I took the long way home, through Napa, California; a culinary playground. I stopped at two of my favorite toy stores, the Culinary Institute of America, and Dean & DeLuca. I found some great kitchen additions at both and didn’t go too crazy. One of my favorite things to do at Dean & DeLuca is to seek out new and interesting herbs, they have the best herb section! On this visit I decided on the Canella (which is akin to Cinnamon Bark and I’ll save that for another post) and Aleppo Pepper.
The Aleppo pepper has a moderate heat level of about 10,000 on the Scoville scale with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones. Its flavor is similar to the ancho chile, but oilier and slightly salty; salt is often used in the drying process. It is fairly mild, with its heat building slowly, with a fruity raisin-like flavor. It has also been described as having the flavor of “sweetness, roundness and perfume of the best kind of sundried tomatoes, but with a substantial kick behind it.” (Wikipdia, 2013)
So I decided to incorporate the Aleppo Pepper into a pasta dish using a Habenero Pasta from Baia Pasta company. I stumbled on this pasta in another adventure I took with my hubby to the Real Food Festival last month at the Jack London Square in Oakland California. The festival is a celebration of real food and a true mecca for a foodie! Next year I am staying the whole three days! Baia Pasta specializes in brass-extruded pasta using only the finest organic flours from America, mostly from Utah, Montana, Colorado. (www.baiapasta.com) Baia collaborates with California farmers to grow unique durum and spelt wheat varieties. They believe that American wheat is among the best in the world and so do I!
So my dish! I combined the cooked pasta with tomatoes and arugula from my own organic plants, and added garbanzo beans and garlic. The sauce was a pesto made with pumpkins seeds, coconut oil, lemon juice, basil, and a large amount of Aleppo Pepper. this turned out so yummy I can’t wait to make it for others. The ingredients are all clean real food, good fats, and paired with a good Pinot Noir….heaven! If you can’t get to Baia Pasta (www.baiapasta.com) or Dean and DeLuca, (www.deananddeluca.com) they both have great online stores. Now….what to do with the Canella????