On March 18, 2015, Chef Lynn Crawford was in Edmonton to officially launch a new line of pasta. Catelli’s Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains pasta has been available since January, but only in Western Canada.
Cooking with Chef Crawford at Get Cooking
Given the trend towards whole grains, it isn’t surprising Catelli has developed this product to offer consumers another option in the supermarket aisles. Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains is the only 100% whole grain pasta of its kind, incorporating Canadian wheat as well as five ancient grains: quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet and sorghum. The result is a pasta that is higher in fibre and potentially other nutrients (most people are familiar with quinoa, but you may also know of teff, which is what Ethiopian bread injera is made of).
Teff, millet, sorghum and amaranth
If you opened my cupboards, you’d only find regular pasta. One of the reasons I haven’t switched to any of the whole grain varieties available is due to taste. That evening, we were able to sample the Healthy Harvest pasta in a variety of ways – with marinara sauce and tossed with pesto. In those incarnations, I didn’t mind the subtle nutty flavour of the pasta; it didn’t take away from the accompaniments.
Chilled noodle salad with ginger wasabi dressing
Chef Crawford, who I had seen at Christmas in November last year, was no doubt chosen to be an ambassador of this product because of her sass and energy – “I’m so over whisks” was one of her quips that night. She routinely pulled folks from the audience up to assist her with the preparation of dishes, including a “Shake it Off” salad dressing preparation.
Although Chef Crawford was limited by time, I did appreciate some of the tips she was able to impart, one of which had nothing to do with the pasta itself. She spent some time roasting sorghum over a hot pan, which resulted in popped kernels not dissimilar from popcorn. She shared that she used these as a crunchy topping to salads at her restaurant.
The final part of the evening gave us an opportunity to work in small groups to prepare a dish to take home – a chilled noodle salad with ginger wasabi dressing. Chef Crawford wasn’t shy; she was hands on and made sure to assist teams when she could.
Linda and Phil cook with Chef Crawford
While I won’t be switching to Catelli Healthy Harvest pasta – I’m more interested in consuming quinoa or any of the other grains in their whole form – I recognize that this provides consumers with a way to incorporate some variety in their diet in a convenient way. Thanks to Catelli for the invitation to learn more about a new product!