When diving into innovation, it’s always key to see what independent chefs are doing on the menu. We teamed up with the folks at Chefs Roll to help uncover some innovative pasta dishes and the stories behind them from all across the country. Let’s just say the results are delicious! And there’s inspiration for days here.
Across the board, these chefs focused on local and in-season produce and used Barilla pasta as their platform to celebrate it. One technique we saw emerge as a theme was using vegetable and plant-based purees in sauces to add color, creaminess, flavor and mouthfeel without using a ton of cream or butter. Brilliant! Here are a few standout examples; all three feature no animal proteins with all of the crave!
Chef Stanger tells a great story through this dish, celebrating an heirloom squash variety that’s indigenous to her Arizona region, the Hubbard. She makes a luscious red chile pesto with fresno and red bell peppers to coat the thin spaghetti, and uses the squash planks as the plant-based feature.
Chef Lee Ann showed us an ingenious take on a rich and velvety “alfredo” sauce made of local macadamia nuts pureed down with pasta water and nutritional yeast for that cheesy, umami flavor. Because there’s no dairy, temperature changes in a delivery or takeout environment aren’t an issue – it will stay smooth and creamy all the way home.
Chef Bliss purees delicata squash into the cream sauce for her dish, giving it a gorgeous yellow color. She uses rigatoni as her platform, letting the pasta grab that sauce and showcase for local black trumpet mushrooms, lacinato kale, and cubes of the roasted delicata greens.