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Tessa’s Tips: March

Hi Everyone! My name is Tessa Stamper and I’m the chef at Noodles & Company. I’m back this month to talk with you about adding new twists to comfort food classics. Last month was all about pasta and eating heart healthy but now it’s time to talk about a little indulgence- after all its all about balance! Comfort food is all the rage in fine dining restaurants these days and macaroni and cheese is leading the way. Some of my favorite spins to this classic dish are below.

 

 

 

 

Noodles & Company Chef, Tessa Stamper

Louisiana-Style

Start with a classic bowl of macaroni and cheese. Give your favorite tomato sauce a kick by stirring in a Cajun spice mix. Toss in cooked andouille sausage and jumbo shrimp. Then top off the bowl with cheddar cheese, green onions and chopped tomatoes. If you’re looking to add even more heat your tomato mix, add a bit of Adobo sauce.

 

Kid-Friendly

Macaroni and cheese is a great vehicle to get kids to eat their veggies, and dinner time is even more fun when they get to be creative. Start with a classic bowl of mac. Ask your kids to help you place ½ to 1 cup of steamed broccoli (or your kid’s favorite vegetable) in a fun shape on top of the bowl. Don’t forget the famous quote, “veggies will make you big and strong!”

 

Fiesta

Start with a classic bowl of macaroni and cheese. Add ¼ cup of your favorite salsa and stir in cooked ground beef. If this meal is for a vegetarian, substitute the ground beef for black or pinto beans. Then top off the bowl with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

 

Want to learn more about our new ‘grown up’ Mac & Cheese dishes? Check out this video to see how we added our own new twists to our Classic Mac and Cheese.  They are only available for the next few weeks, so come on in and let me know what you think.

 

 

Check back next month for more tips from yours truly!

 

-Tessa

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Recipe time.

In honor of National Pasta Month, we thought we’d share with you how to cook an awesome pasta recipe for yourself at home! This is similar to our Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine we serve in our restaurants. It’s not exact, but it’s close.

Happy National Pasta Month, folks!

Tuscan tossed Whole Grain noodles with grilled chicken

Noodles & Company’s Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb whole grain linguine cooked al dente
  • 3 Roma tomatoes sliced into ½ moons
  • 1 red onion cut into julienne strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Bunch Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 T Olive oil (includes enough to coat the cooked noodles & chicken)
  • 1 White wine (white balsamic vinegar optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 T each fresh chopped basil, oregano, rosemary leaves and Italian parsley
  • Cracked black pepper
  • ½  T fresh lemon juice
  • Shaved Asiago cheese
  • 4 chicken breasts, marinated & grilled

Preparation:

  • Cook the pasta to al dente chill in ice cold water.  Drain then toss with 1 T olive oil and set aside.
  • Chop the garlic, cut the tomatoes, slice the onions, de-stem the herbs, chop and set aside.
  • Marinate chicken breast with lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary leaves & garlic, place in fridge for 30 minutes. Grill just before you prepare the pasta. Let rest, slice and toss into pasta.

To make ze dish:

Put the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Heat pan to hot, but not smoking. Add garlic and onions. You should hear a sizzle. Stir and deglaze with white wine or white balsamic vinegar. Add pasta and chicken, toss to coat with aromatics. Add tomatoes, toss then add fresh spinach. Add herbs, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Place on platter and garnish with shaved Asiago cheese.

Serves 4-6.  Enjoy!

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