Tony and Sarah Nasello
FARGO — Pumpkins are in season, and this week, I'm sharing the recipe for one of my family's favorite fall-time treats: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. This seasonal quick bread is full of flavor, ultra-moist and easy to make. The wonderfully moist texture of this bread comes not just from the pumpkin puree but from the vegetable oil, too, which also helps to extend the shelf life of the bread. Four eggs give the bread its richness and volume, and cinnamon and nutmeg are added to enhance the fall flavors.
FARGO — Back in our cruise ship days with Holland America Line, the culinary staff would celebrate the line's Dutch heritage once each cruise with a Dutch-themed lunch buffet. This event featured a mix of Dutch and Indonesian dishes and was always highly anticipated by the crew, especially those with roots in Holland or Indonesia.
FARGO — Last month, I finally played with a new specialty that my mom has been recommending we try for the better part of the past year: Tortilla Pizzas. They sounded so simple that I wasn't too intrigued at first, even though her food instincts are almost always spot-on. However, the need for a quick and easy appetizer made me revisit this idea, and now my family has two new favorites in our culinary arsenal.
"When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that's amore..." We've all heard Dean Martin croon these famous lyrics in the song, "That's Amore," but how many of us in these parts know what the heck pasta fazool is? Pasta fazool is the slang term for a traditional Italian soup called Pasta e Fagioli, which translates, literally, into "pasta and beans." Pasta e Fagioli is a hearty dish that was created by the peasant class centuries ago, consisting of inexpensive and abundant ingredients, like pasta and beans.
FARGO — Last spring, my son Gio and I planted about 30 tomato plants in our garden, which have produced an abundance of beautiful garden tomatoes, with varieties including beefsteak, cannonball, early girl, lemon boy, Juliet, cherry, yellow pear and Roma. We are up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, and this Red Wine Garden Tomato Sauce has become a weekly specialty in our home for the past month.
FARGO — My husband, Tony, is a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan, which means that the only thing we usually get to cheer about in our home during NFL football season is, you guessed it, the food. And last Sunday, my Easy Cheesy Chili Dip had everyone cheering as we watched the Fish eke out a win over the Tennessee Titans.
Labor Day weekend is upon us, and although I'm painfully aware that this holiday also ushers in the end of summer, that's no reason to eschew an end of summer celebration. So, fire up that grill and load up on meats and veggies, because it's time to host a Shish Kebab party. This specialty received its name from the Turkish words "şiş" (sword or skewer) and "kebab" (roasted meat). Centuries ago, kebabs were the perfect food for soldiers and nomads, as they could skewer hunks of meat upon their swords and then roast them over an open fire.
FARGO — Red peppers are the latest crop coming into harvest in our garden, and we've been blessed with an abundance this year. Roasting red peppers is a classic Italian tradition and a specialty of Tony's mother, Marianna. We shared her recipe, Marianna's Roasted Red Peppers, five years ago. It can be enjoyed on its own as a side dish or tossed in with pastas and salads, and one of our favorite ways to showcase this specialty is in our Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.
FARGO — Today marks the 300th edition of this weekly column and the launch of a new monthly feature that will celebrate local chefs. There are many talented chefs working in the region, and one in particular stood out as the obvious candidate to be highlighted first. It is with pleasure (and pride) that I introduce you to Chef Ben Walker.
FARGO — For the past five summers, Tony and I have participated in Banquet in a Field, an annual event hosted by Common Ground North Dakota at Peterson Farms Seed in rural Cass County.