Posts Tagged with Al Dente Pasta

Al Dente Pasta – Heat and Eat At It’s Best

Monday, May 14th, 2012

During the brightly colored neon adventures of the eighties, a small pasta company cropped up in the midst of grocery store shelves full of cardboard boxes stuffed with ‘enriched’ elbow macaroni and powdered “cheese.” To Monique Deschaine there was just something missing, something different and unsatisfying about the pasta available to her. She wanted homemade pasta taste right off the shelf, and she unknowingly created a mini-gourmet pasta revolution with her company, al dente pasta.

Working her way through recipes and techniques, pouring herself into books and other literature; Monique learned her way through  with the help of teachers, and eventually finding her greatest mentor – an Italian cuisine master, Marcella Hazan. From her, Monique learned that rolling the dough creates the homemade taste she had been looking for, a thicker pasta that she found lacking inthe grocery store. Most other pastas are made by force extruding through a die and dried from there. Al dente pasta found that using the more labor and time intensive method of rolling provided the taste and mouth-feel they were going for. We’re happy that she did. Before Al dente, there wasn’t nearly anything like it on the shelves. As an added bonus, all of her pasta takes almost no time to cook, going from package to plate in just a few minutes. This pasta is also so flavorful that it doesn’t require sauce, we love it with a touch of good extra virgin olive oil, and maybe a grind of salt and pepper – thats all it needs; making it great for pasta salads.

Another part of Monique’s passion, that we love, is her work with the growers and millers, connecting the bridges of farming, manufacturing and artistry. Their not just pasta makers, but manufacturers of great tasting, handmade pastas. Al dente also brings fantastic pastas like the pappardelle and even inventing mixed theme bags like their Land and Sea. We may be skipping one of the greatest aspects of al dente pasta, it’s locally made. In the great state of Michigan, a little factory of hard working artisans make this super-fine pasta. We think we’re pretty lucky to have such an excellent manufacturer of such tasty pasta right near us.

We thank Monique on all of hard work. You can pick up a bag or three on our shelf, if we haven’t ate it all already.

From Our Chalkboard – Al Dente Pasta Recipes

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

We’ve gone through and pulled out some of the recipes that have been posted to our chalkboard and coordinating recipe sheets. Need an idea on how to use a product? Ask us! These are meant as a resource for ideas, not hard and fast lines to dinner.

This set comes from our friends over at Al Dente Pasta – some of the best pasta made state-side, we’re lucky enough to have them as our local pasta emporium. Thanks Al Dente!

So Simple Pasta with Roasted Chicken

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. flour
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 red peppers, diced
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups shredded chicken meat
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
chopped parsley
1 bag (12 oz.) Al Dente™ pasta

In a large skillet whisk together olive oil and flour over medium- high heat for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, shallots and red pepper, sautéing until vegetables begin to soften. Add broth, wine, lemon juice and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until heated through. Stir in butter. Toss with cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.


Baked Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms & Gruyere

1 bag Al Dente™ pasta
2 lbs. chicken, in 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/3 lb. gruyere or swiss cheese, grated
1 cup chicken broth

Toss vegetables with all but 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender, but firm. Place pasta in baking dish greased with olive oil. Top with chicken, then mushrooms, then cheese. Pour chicken broth over all. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Creamy Pasta with Veggies & Smoked Turkey

1 bag Al Dente™ pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, dried
2 red peppers, diced
1lb. mushrooms, sliced
1lb. smoked turkey or ham, diced
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In large skillet over medium heat, sauté veggies until soft. Add smoked turkey, evaporated milk & cook until heated through and slightly thickened. In the meantime, cook pasta in boiling water for 5 minutes, until tender, but firm. Drain. Add pasta to skillet, tossing with sauce, adding parmesan, salt & pepper.