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5 Amazing Vegetarian Pasta Dishes to Try This Spring

5 Amazing Vegetarian Pasta Dishes to Try This Spring

Spring’s an exciting time of year for any vegetarian. For the first time in several months, you can find fresh veggies at local markets for cooking delicious pasta dishes. A lot of classic spring pasta dishes work just fine without meat — pasta and veggies go together like peanut butter and jelly.

If you need inspiration for some meatless spring pasta dishes, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Pasta with pea puree. Our first entry is an easy yet satisfying meal that substitutes a pea puree for traditional red sauce. It may seem minimal, but the puree, parmesan, and linguine go together for a light main course or an excellent side dish. The recipe calls for frozen green peas, but you’ll notice the difference if you use fresh ones!
  2. Arugula with orzo and garden tomatoes. Nothing says spring like a big juicy tomato. Though we usually like to make pasta a bigger component of the dish, it also makes any salad more delicious. If you’re looking for a healthy (but still delicious) dish that’s lighter on the carbs, you can’t go wrong with this one.
  3. Garlic butter pasta with caramelized shallots, spinach, and goat cheese. Looking for an even tastier way to eat your leafy greens? Goat cheese is something of a secret weapon here at Pierino — it really does make everything better. Using garlic butter makes this dish especially decadent. There are so many great flavors in this recipe, you’ll forget how easy it is to cook.
  4. Mac n cheese with artichokes. Mac n cheese is such a tried-and-tested classic, innovative recipes can sometimes feel like reinventing the wheel. However, every now and then we come across a recipe that’s so good, we can’t help but share it. This recipe uses Dijon mustard, paprika, artichokes and even…wait for it…tofu to make something truly special. Even if you don’t usually like tofu, give it a shot — you won’t even be able to notice it’s there. It actually makes the dish rather creamy while staying healthier. If you’re not sold on the artichokes, try sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Campanelle with hard-boiled eggs and more. Hard-boiled eggs are a great way to sneak some protein into a vegetarian dish, while capers bring a little something different to the table. If you’re looking for something light and want to leave an impression, reach for this one.

Excellent recipes deserve excellent pasta. No matter what pasta your recipe calls for, you can find high-quality pasta from Pierino to make your dish a hit. Look for Pierino’s at your grocery store!

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4 Tasty Spring Lasagna Recipes

4 Tasty Spring Lasagna Recipes

Don’t get us wrong: we’re huge fans of lasagna at Pierino. Still, it’s one of those foods that just seems better suited to cold weather. As it gets warmer and we break out our rain jackets, we typically scour our recipe books for lighter meals. This year, we decided to switch things up and dig around for some lasagna recipes tailored to the season.

If you’re looking for a lasagna fix suited to warmer, rainy days, try one of these recipes!

  1. Sweet pea and artichoke lasagna. Nothing says springtime like fresh, lightly sauteed recipes with pasta. Better yet, artichokes are something of a superfood: they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, and a variety of other nutrients. Throw in some ricotta cheese and a light, creamy sauce and you have a perfect lasagna for a spring dinner. Snag the recipe here!
  2. “The works” lasagna primavera. If you’re looking to take things up a notch, there are plenty of other veggies that go great with a lighter lasagna — think asparagus, fava beans, and tomato. If it fits your fancy, you can offset the veggies with some sprinkled bacon. The recipe we found uses a Béchamel sauce, which originated in Italy but is now a staple of French cuisine. Again, a lighter sauce is key to making a dish fit for warmer weather. For a detailed recipe for making this type of lasagna, click here.
  3. Lasagna primavera with garlic chicken. Another way to make a lighter dish is to swap out the usual beef with chicken. Did you know that chicken is healthier for your heart than beef as well? A healthy dose of garlic only makes this lasagna even more savory. Of course, the chicken is complimented well by a full host of veggies — zucchini, peas, and squash. Yum!
  4. Vegetable lasagna with a mint and lemon sauce. Feeling more adventurous? Experimenting with different sauces is a great way to bring new life to the same old host of veggies and meats. And for our money, we bet you’ve never had a lasagna with a sauce quite like this! The recipe is anchored by asparagus, zucchini, edamame, leeks, and peas. Try it for yourself this season.

If you’re looking for a wine to go with these pastas, grab a light-bodied white wine. That’ll match well with the vegetables and light sauces.

Pierino’s is proud to supply the best pastas for spring dishes, lasagnas, and any other meal. Your customers or guests deserve the finest pasta, so why settle for anything less? Whether you’re a supplier or looking for some pasta to bring home, look no further than Pierinos.

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6 Tips to Make Your Favorite Pasta Dishes Healthier

6 Tips to Make Your Favorite Pasta Dishes Healthier

Balancing a love for pasta with healthy eating is no easy feat. Making matters worse is that many traditional Italian dishes (spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine alfredo, and lasagna) are loaded with carbohydrates and saturated fat.

As huge pasta lovers ourselves, we searched for a way to make pasta dishes with less fat and fewer calories. This includes making new dishes and even some tweaks for some old favorites!

  1. Use lots of vegetables. Everyone loves some good meatballs, but if you’re looking to make your dish healthier, some veggies will help a lot. Whether you ditch the meat or not, vegetables are a great way to increase the bulk of the dish as well as add some nutrients. Think red pepper, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and arugula.
  2. Pick healthier pasta. Did you know that picking whole wheat pasta doubles the amount of fiber in the meal? Between the sauce, veggies, and other ingredients, you probably won’t even notice the difference either. 100% whole wheat is best, but anything is better than regular pasta.
  3. Go easy on the cheese and choose wisely. Most cheeses come in full and reduced-fat varieties. Additionally, look for lean and nutritious cheeses, like parmesan, swiss, and cottage cheese. All of these cheeses are lean sources of protein and calcium.
  4. Use lean meat. As a rule of thumb, you should go for meat that’s at least 90% lean. Again, this is a switch that barely changes the taste but helps to make the meal more nutritious and less fatty. As for poultry, look for meat that comes purely from breast meat.
  5. Add mushrooms! Health benefits aside, we’re always cooking with mushrooms — they’re delicious! Though nutritional content varies greatly depending on the mushroom you’re cooking with, they’re all low in calories and pack some variety of nutrients. Button mushrooms, the ones most commonly found at grocery stores, are a great source of both fiber and potassium.
  6. Stick to healthy portions. As a pasta company, we’d love to encourage you to eat it to your heart’s content…but as a pasta company writing a post about healthy eating, we’re encouraging you to watch your portions! A healthy portion of pasta should be about half a cup cooked. Add veggies and lean meats if it isn’t filling you up!

Pierinos offers all the whole wheat, nutritious pasta you need to cook healthy, lean meals. What are your tips for cooking healthy pasta dishes? Any favorite recipes? Let us know in the comments section below!

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6 Alternative Fettuccine Alfredo Recipes

6 Alternative Fettuccine Alfredo Recipes

After lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs, it’s hard to think of a more iconic (or beloved) Italian dish than fettuccine alfredo. The creamy cheese is a perfect pairing with pasta and chicken or shrimp, creating a delectable dish whose popularity is easy to appreciate.

To spice things up, we’ve explored a few twists on the classic dish — some subtle and some dramatic!

  1. Add some zest with red pepper. Mix roasted red pepper and some goat cheese for your alfredo — your taste buds will thank you! The result is a rich, flavor-filled recipe that stays true to the spirit of the original dish while still bringing something new to the table. Get the recipe here!
  2. Add…taco seasoning? We’ve covered Italian-Mexican fusion dishes on our blog before, but none seemed as strange at first glance as this one. But once we read that the recipe won a Pillsbury Bake-Off, we figured it was worth a shot. Boy, are we glad we did! Save for the taco seasoning, this recipe doesn’t stray too far from the traditional dish, but it’s enough to give it a truly unique flavor. If you’re a fan of taco seasoning, you have to try this recipe.
  3. Throw in some bacon. If the first two seemed a little too adventurous, then the recipe may be the one for you. Bacon is a natural fit for a dish this creamy and heavy, and it blends seamlessly with the chicken and cheese. Better yet, we found a recipe for making the whole thing in one pot!
  4. Ditch the chicken for smoked sausage. Smoked sausage is a great, easy way to add a little extra flavor. Pairing that with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach adds some nutrition while keeping things flavorful. Snag the recipe here for yourself!
  5. Vegetarian? Try broccoli and fettuccine. Looking for something a little healthier? This recipe doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it is leaner than anything else on this list! Great as a side dish or main course, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. If you’re looking for another vegetarian option, mushrooms are a great choice.
  6. For seafood and some Louisiana flare, go for Cajun shrimp alfredo. This one is more elaborate than any other the list, but it’s lip-smacking good. Just don’t serve it unless you know everyone enjoys the Cajun spices!

We’re as big of a fan of classic alfredo as anyone else, but it’s good to break out of your comfort zone and try new recipes! Look no further than Pierino for the most delicious pasta to go with these meals. Call us today to stock your restaurant or storefront with the best pasta around!

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Build Your Brand With White Label Food Products

Build Your Brand With White Label Food Products

From food service to marketing to IT, white labeling is popular in a wide variety of industries. There’s a reason for that: white labeling allows businesses to boost their brand and leverage the expertise of other professionals. Today, we’re going to take a look at how white labeled food products can benefit your business!

To bring everyone up to speed, white labeling is when a business pays a nominal fee to place their branding on another business’ product. In other words, it allows a business to offer a product without the hassle of designing, developing, or manufacturing the product. Without further ado, let’s break down the benefits of white labeling:

  • You’re letting the experts do the work. If you’re considering using a white label product, chances are you don’t design it yourself, let alone produce it. Businesses offering white label products have already conducted extensive development and testing, as well as fine-tuned their manufacturing process. By using their product, you’re making this expertise work for your business.
  • It saves you money. In-house development and manufacturing are tremendously expensive. Even worse, it requires a substantial initial investment with no certainty regarding your ROI. With white labeling, you can rest assured that you’re receiving a refined product from the very beginning for your customers with a minimal investment. Additionally, you can choose from a wide array of options offered by third-parties, finding the perfect products for your business.
  • It strengthens your brand. Having your brand on more products boosts public awareness, which only benefits your brand. It’s a subtle yet effective mode of increasing your reach. Furthermore, offering branded products means customers will grow more loyal to your brand. As they buy dependable, satisfying products with your name attached, their opinion of your brand will increase.

Pierinos is happy to offer white label products for any business in need of high-quality pasta products. For many of our clients, we proudly replicate custom recipes, crafting excellent pasta with each and every order. Whether you’d like to use your favorite recipe or try one of ours, Pierinos is standing by to meet your pasta needs.

Between our decades of experience and our superb high-volume production facility, we can deliver as much pasta as you need with the quality your customers expect. Furthermore, our strategic location near shipping routes allows us to quickly and efficiently ship your product wherever you need it.

What are you waiting for? Call Pierinos today to stock up on the best pasta around!

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4 Things You Never Knew About Pasta

4 Things You Never Knew About Pasta

You might think you know all there is know about pasta, but there’s more to the tasty noodles than meets the eye. With years of experience in making pasta, talking about pasta, and eating pasta, we’ve come across a few bits of information that most people never hear about this time-honored food.

  • Pasta does not originate from Italy. As an Italian-American company, we’re always shy about admitting this one, but it’s true! China was eating pasta long before Italy. In fact, historical records show that the Chinese were eating pasta as early as 5,000 B.C. According to myth, Marco Polo introduced Italy to pasta in the 1100s, but the Etruscans (a civilization pre-dating the Romans) were making and eating pasta by roughly 500 B.C. It wasn’t as easy it is now, either: the Etruscans would mash the grain with rocks before mixing it with water to create dough for the noodles.
  • But Italians do eat the most pasta. Though they can’t claim to have invented the dish, maybe they do deserve to call it an Italian food! Italians eat more pasta than anyone else around the world. The shocker here is who comes in second and third– Venezuela and Tunisia, respectively!
  • People didn’t eat pasta with tomato sauces until almost two thousand years later! Can you imagine life without spaghetti and meatballs? In fact, people had been eating pasta without tomato sauce for four times as long as they have been eating it with the classic sauce. Tomatoes are not native to Europe, and were only introduced in 1519 when Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, brought them back from Mexico. Before long, tomatoes and tomato sauces became staples of Italian cuisine.
  • Pasta grows on trees in Switzerland. Just kidding — there’s no such thing as a pasta tree (unfortunately). However, on April 1st, 1957, the BBC aired a fake documentary that had all of England believing that pasta actually grew on trees in Switzerland. We’re not making this up: read about it here.

Do you know any unusual facts or stories about pasta? Tell us about it in the comments section!

Are you looking for gourmet pasta at your restaurant or on your kitchen table? As a multi-generational Italian-American pasta company, we offer the best pasta around. From classic spaghetti to penne and rotini, we promise you won’t be disappointed. What are you waiting for? Call today!

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5 Amazing Italian-Mexican Recipes

5 Amazing Italian-Mexican Recipes

Here at Pierinos, we love Mexican food almost as much as we love Italian food. And even though it may sound unconventional, we’ve noticed that fusing the two together can make for some delicious dinners. When you think about it, the two share a lot of similarities that make for a perfect combination: zesty tomato sauces, carbs in the form of tortillas or pasta, and of course, loads of cheese.

Still not convinced? Check out the following recipes to see if anything strikes your fancy!

      Pizzadillas. Who doesn’t love pizza and quesadillas? Now imagine a quesadilla with pizza toppings, sauce, and cheese as filling. Sounds pretty tasty, right? For a crowd pleaser, you can stick to pepperoni, cheese, and sauce. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could add green or red peppers, mushrooms, Italian sausage, or even bacon! Get the recipe here.
      Mexican lasagna. This is by far one of the most popular Italian-Mexican fusion dishes, and for good reason– it’s incredible! Of course, this dish can vary as much as traditional lasagna, but our favorite is almost like traditional lasagna but with an added kick from green chiles, taco seasoning, and Monterey Jack cheese. Click here for that recipe, but if you’re looking for more Mexican flair, you can try out enchilada lasagna. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
      Taco mac n cheese. We’ve never met a mac n cheese dish that we didn’t like, and taco mac n cheese is no exception. On top of the delicious pasta and gooey cheese, some taco seasoning and ground beef can go a long ways. If you’re looking for a twist on this classic recipe, look no further than this one!
      Spaghetti tacos. Don’t knock it till you try it! The combination of the different flavors and textures between corn tortillas and soft pasta makes for a unique and satisfying meal. Even better, this is an easy meal that requires only pasta, pasta sauce, hard taco shells, and cheese. With only these four ingredients, it’s an easy fix after a long day at work. Try it yourself!
      White chicken enchiladas. If you want to make something without a tomato sauce, then check out this white chicken enchilada recipe pairing a yogurt sauce with Italian cheeses. The result is an enchilada dish mixing Italian and Mediterranean influences for a dinner that your guests will rave about.

Italian-Mexican recipes still need delicious pasta. As a family-owned, third-generation pasta company, no one makes great pasta quite like Pierinos. Call us today to taste the Pierino’s difference!

 

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4 Festive Pasta Dishes for the Holidays

4 Festive Pasta Dishes for the Holidays

As everyone gets ready for the holidays, family cooks everywhere are stockpiling the essentials: ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, and all the fixing’s. But these traditional dishes can leave those with a taste for Italian cuisine wanting for something more!

Pasta is a great addition to any holiday feast. One of the best things about pasta is its flexibility: with the right veggies, sauces, or meats, it can be made to fit any main course or side. To jump start your culinary imagination, we’ve jotted down these quick ideas that always go over well at our family gatherings:

  • Fusilli with peppers and mozzarella. This is an easy, light dish to add alongside any main course. Fry up some red and green peppers, add bite-sized chunks of mozzarella, and you’re good to go! Some arugula on top works as a nice garnish, or you could add a sprinkle of basil for a classic finish. If you’re looking to make this dish a little zestier, you can use Anaheim’s or Basque Fryers.
  • Farfalle and broccoli. Everyone knows that the best way to eat broccoli is cooked, mixed up with pasta and smothered in cheese. Just kidding, but still, it’s hard to beat bow ties. Mixed with some garlic, black pepper, lemon, and pine nuts, this is a unique but delicious side dish. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, you can add chicken or shrimp for extra protein!
  • Mac and cheese– but with chicken, bacon, and broccoli. Another great way to get your young ones to eat their broccoli is to sneak it in with melty mac and cheese and some savory bacon. A filling meal that could be a main course in its own right, this can easily fill up a family with enough for leftovers. Click here for the recipe!
  • Penne and shrimp in a creamy sauce. Seafood at a holiday dinner may seem unorthodox, but this dish is too tasty to leave off this list. With parsley, basil, red pepper flakes and white wine for flavor, the creamy sauce and mild shrimp makes for a delectable side. If you like seafood anywhere near as much as us, you’ll love this dish!

Hopefully this list has given you ample inspiration for your special dinner. With pasta, there’s always something for everyone! Pierinos provides all the pasta you could possibly need for your holiday feast with a quality honed from generations of excellence. Call Pierino’s today!

 

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5 Different Cheeses to Try with Your Pasta

5 Different Cheeses to Try with Your Pasta

Pasta and cheese are a classic combination like peanut butter and jelly. As cheese lovers ourselves, we can’t imagine pasta without cheese.

However, pasta often sees a lot of the same old, same old, leaving even the most dedicated pasta lovers yearning for something outside the box. Parmesan and Ricotta are wonderful, but there’s so many other tasty cheeses available! Just like with pasta, there’s an entire world of delectable cheeses to explore and experiment with in your dishes.

If you’re looking for something a little different in your next pasta dish, grab one of the following at your grocery store:

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano. This is an incredibly flavorful cheese that works well with pasta, eggs, veggies, and meats. Don’t let its strong flavors scare you away! This cheese is salty, spicy, and even a little briny, but can be tamed by incorporating it into a larger dish. In a rich pasta, it can add these flavors in subtle notes that will accentuate the dish as a whole.
  • Asiago. This is one of the mildest, most pleasant cheeses available. Like all cheeses, it gets stronger the longer it ages, but it’s never very sharp. This is a great snacking cheese, but also goes well with pasta. In pastas, your best bet is to go for an aged Asiago and grate it. A young Asiago may be too mild to taste in a full dish.
  • Gouda. Another great snacking cheese, Gouda is creamy and can be nutty or sweet. A smoked Gouda can add a nice buttery flavor to a pasta dish. Many goudas have herbs or spices included to add to the flavor, which can further spice up your dish. Chipotle Gouda is one of our favorites!
  • Gorgonzola. A rarer cheese, but just as delicious as everything else on the list. Younger Gorgonzola is milder and soft, while aged Gorgonzola is crumbly and a little tougher. Younger Gorgonzola goes well with crackers, while aged Gorgonzola is great for pastas. All varieties of the cheese offer strong garlic and pepper flavors.
  • Gruyère. Another mild cheese, Gruyère is often described as sweet, salty, creamy, and nutty. It manages to have a unique flavor without being overpowering, making it a nice addition to a variety of pasta dishes. It is rather soft, so you may have to freeze it before grating.

As always, Pierino’s sells the best pastas for spaghetti, lasagna, and any other pasta dish. Pair some Pierinos pasta with one of these cheeses for your next crowd pleaser dinners!

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5 Delicious Fall Pasta Recipes

5 Delicious Fall Pasta Recipes

As the weather turns chilly, nothing hits the spot better than a warm, savory plate of pasta. As we’ve touched on great spring and summer dishes in the past, we thought you might enjoy some of our favorite dishes for cooler weather.

We’re including some links for full recipes, or you can just browse through to find some inspiration for your own culinary adventures!

  • Pasta, cauliflower, and a spicy tomato sauce. This dish reminds us a little of grilled cheese and tomato soup. A little extra spice will warm you up on a chilly day, while the soft pasta, cauliflowers, cheese and cream bring it back into relief.
  • Mac and cheese with butternut squash. Of course, there’s no better comfort food than macaroni and cheese. While ordinary mac and cheese will always be a crowd pleaser, you can make this one fall-themed with some butternut squash. It’s just mild enough to pair well with the classic, but different enough to leave an impression.
  • Orecchiette with kale and breadcrumbs. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, try this recipe out! Orecchiette are the tiny cup-shaped pasta, making them great for holding in the kale and breadcrumbs. This dish is healthy as well as delectable– kale is one of the healthiest foods in the world, providing a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, K and B6. Pairing it with some delicious pasta only sweetens the deal!
  • Veal and spinach lasagna. This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one lasagna recipe. As the weather gets cooler, a steamy plate of lasagna only gets more and more appealing. This recipe forgoes red-sauce lasagnas for something slightly lighter, using an egg and tomato sauce instead. We know pulling anyone away from traditional lasagna recipes is a hard sell, but give this one a try!
  • Penne with mushrooms and hazelnuts. Nothing says fall like buttery, sauteed mushrooms. Pair some whole-wheat penne with brown butter mushrooms, hazelnuts, and a bit of cheese and you’ll have an easy yet satisfying lunch or dinner. Grab the recipe here!

Fall is a great time of year to start looking for heavier, warmer dishes that didn’t sound as appetizing on hot summer days. As the weather turns, dig in and cook up something you’ve been craving. As always, Pierino’s has all the pasta you need to make your new favorite dish– call us today!

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5 Surprising Facts About Pasta

5 Surprising Facts About Pasta

When you’ve made pasta for years and years, you learn a thing or two that the average person would never even think about. Pasta may seem fairly straightforward, but there’s actually a lot more than meets the eye. As people who have been immersed in the pasta industry for generations, we’re sharing some curious insights into everyone’s favorite Italian dinner.

  • Pasta contains protein. At the end of the day, pasta is a carbohydrate, but it also is a great way to squeeze in some protein. One cup of pasta can contain as much as 8 grams of protein. If you’re looking for pasta with more protein than the rest, look for bean pastas, ancient grain pastas, or sprouted grain pastas. All these types also contain more fiber than the average pasta, which further boosts the nutritional value.
  • Al dente pasta is more filling. Pasta that is cooked al dente (which means “to the tooth”) sticks with you longer, as it takes longer for your body to digest. As such, this is a great option if you want the meal to stick with you.
  • Pasta is a sustainable food. Unfortunately, animal-based foods have a large environmental impact due to the land, energy, and water necessary to produce them. Plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are much more sustainable. Though some pastas do contain eggs, they are primarily grain — making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly food. Given the increasingly worrisome state of the environment, we’re happy to be serving a sustainable product!
  • Not all pastas and sauces are interchangeable. No one is stopping you from using any sauce with any pasta…but as pasta aficionados, we’ll be the first to tell you that some sauces really do pair better with others. We wrote a post on this a little while ago, but in a nutshell, creamy sauces work best with long, flat strands. In comparison, chunky sauces work well with short, tubular pastas.
  • Thomas Jefferson was one of America’s first pasta ambassadors. Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing a macaroni-making machine to the United States after a trip to France, and it is said that he served mac n cheese at a presidential dinner in 1802. Much later (in 1937), Kraft started selling their mac n cheese boxes that could feed four people for a nickel. They were a hit during the Great Depression, and have remained an iconic part of American cuisine ever since.

We take our pasta very seriously, which is why we cut no corners in producing the best pasta products around. For delicious pasta, look no further than Pierinos!

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4 Tasty Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

4 Tasty Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Spaghetti with meatballs, fettuccine alfredo with chicken, beef lasagna– with so many classic pasta recipes generously using meat, it can be hard for pasta lovers to go vegetarian. One of the biggest challenges can be making a filling, satisfying meal without meat as a source of protein.

However, all it takes is a little imagination– as well as some inspiration from classic vegetarian dishes like pesto with linguini and mac n cheese– to come up with some delicious recipes. Before long, you’ll forget about missing meat at all!

  • Farfelle with mushrooms and peas. Mushrooms are a staple in a lot of vegetarian foods, and for good reason: they include a lot of important nutrients, including selenium, which is great for your immune system, but hard to find in vegetarian diets. Mushrooms go great with a lot of classic pasta dishes, but you can also use them as a main ingredient, like in this simple (but tasty) recipe.
  • Orecchiette with tomatoes and chickpeas. Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of lean protein. However, they tend to roll around the plate a lot and can be hard to pick up– meaning they pair well with cup-shaped pasta, like orecchiette. We found this great recipe with herb-roasted tomatoes— try it out!
  • Peanut noodles. Another great way to sneak some protein into a vegetarian dish is with peanuts, or cashews. Nuts are commonly found in Chinese and other Asian pasta dishes. Though Italian food may always be our favorite, we can’t deny that these dishes are pretty tasty. Peanut butter or ground peanuts can both be used for these recipes. Soy sauce and ginger are both usually used to compliment the flavor, making for a zesty, flavorful meal. Here’s a good recipe to get you started. Go for linguini or classic spaghetti with this one!
  • Olive oil, tomato, basil and kidney bean pasta. Kidney beans are another great option for vegetarians, as they add some protein while still fitting in nicely with the rest of the ingredients. With some basil and tomato for flavor (as well as any other vegetables that suit your tastes), you can have a meal that’s great warm, cold, or at room temperature. We found this simple yet effective recipe that you might enjoy!

Of course, Pierino offers all the high-quality pasta you need to make a delicious dinner. Making excellent pasta is a tradition we’ve passed down for generations. Why settle for anything less when you can have Pierino?

 

Photo Credit: Alicia, AKA “CulinaryExplorer” on Food.com

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6 Great Summer Pasta Recipes

6 Great Summer Pasta Recipes

Here at Pierino, we never get tired of chicken Alfredo or spaghetti and meatballs. But in the dog days of summer, a hot, heavy meal with rich sauces doesn’t hit the spot like it does during colder weather. As the thermometer starts inching up and you break out the shorts and sundresses, try lighter pasta dishes to keep you cool.

Here are some of our favorite summer pasta dishes:

  • Penne with tomato pesto. This is a classic warm-weather pasta dish. By skipping heavy meats or thick sauces and opting for a zesty pesto, you can make a satisfying dish that will taste delicious on a hot summer day. Click here for one of our favorite recipes. You can’t go wrong with adding some onions or green peppers, either!
  • Fettuccine with corn crema. Missing fettuccine Alfredo? The heavy, cheesy sauce can be a little much in the summer months, but there are a lot of tasty alternatives. You can get a similar effect without Alfredo sauce by mashing fresh corn into a smooth sauce. Add some scallions and you have a tried-and-tested crowd pleaser. Get the recipe for yourself right here.
  • Pasta with chickpeas. If you’re worried about getting enough protein without meatballs or chicken, try adding chickpeas to some of your favorite pasta dishes. Tomatoes and chickpeas along with some seasonings make for a simple, but delicious lunch or dinner.
  • Try seafood in your pasta! Another alternative to beef or chicken is seafood, which is lighter and goes well with a cold dish. Shrimp scampi with angel hair is one of our favorites, while lobster also goes well with some tomatoes and basil. If you’re looking for something a little creamier, here’s another great shrimp recipe.
  • Think outside the plate and go for minestrone or another soup. On a hot summer day, a pasta soup served at room temperature or just slightly warm can taste great. Minestrone is an easy classic, and zucchini soup is also a crowd-pleaser.
  • Try swapping out meatballs with turkey sausage. Turkey sausage is leaner and healthier, making it a savory substitute for hotter weather. Broccoli and turkey sausage is a healthy and satisfying pasta dish, though arugula and cherry tomatoes are hard to beat as a turkey complement.

Just because the weather’s getting warmer doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious pasta dish. Whether you’re making minestrone or shrimp scampi, Pierino offers the high-quality pasta to make your meal a winner. With several generations of experience under our belt, we know you’ll be hard-pressed to find better pasta for your summer recipes.

 

Photo Credit: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

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5 Twists on the Classic Spaghetti Recipe

5 Twists on the Classic Spaghetti Recipe

Spaghetti and meatballs is a tried-and-tested crowd-pleaser. No matter who you’re having over for dinner, you can rest assured they’ll be happy with this classic dish, with some garlic bread on the side.

While we love spaghetti and meatballs as much as the next guy, we also have found some great recipes to switch it up and keep things interesting. If you’re looking for something with the same tasty pasta but a different flair, check out some of our favorite ideas for modifying everybody’s favorite dinner:

  • Add some cilantro to the meatballs. This is a slight change you can make to your recipe that will make a big difference in flavor, but stays close enough to the original dish to please picky eaters. The cilantro gives the meatballs just enough of a kick to have everyone at the table asking what you did differently this time around to spice up the meal. Check it out right here.
  • Italian meets Mexican. It might sound strange at first, but adding a Mexican flair to your spaghetti and meatballs is really quite tasty. Some tostadas, chili powders and peppers add an extra zest to the traditional Italian spices. In our opinion, whoever thought to combine these two culinary styles was a genius. Here’s a great recipe with turkey meatballs, or if you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can take it to a new level and make spaghetti tacos!
  • Add some bacon. This is one of the more indulgent items on the list. Everybody loves bacon, and it pairs perfectly with spaghetti. Combined with some cheddar cheese rather than the traditional parmesan and a little extra hot sauce, you can change the dish enough to offer up something new while still not straying too far from a classic recipe. Some great inspiration can be found here.
  • Turn it into a pie! This one doesn’t change the classic flavors and spices so much as repackage it differently, but it does add a delicious crust like in your favorite pies. Throw in a number of different cheeses, some meat, tomatoes, zucchini, and seasonings and you’ll have a delectable treat that will please any pasta fan. We’re partial to this
  • Add more cheese by making cheese-stuffed meatballs. This one’s a no-brainer– you can’t go wrong with adding more cheese! Looking suspiciously like ordinary spaghetti and meatballs, your guests will be in for a delightful surprise when they take their first bite. There’s a step-by-step guide at this link.

Pierino makes pasta that is a perfect fit for your most inventive dishes as well as traditional spaghetti and meatballs. With state-of-the-art facilities and generations of experience, great pasta is a family tradition for us. Whatever pasta you’re planning on making, there’s no one better prepared to meet your needs than Pierino.

 

Photo Credit: Patricia Reitz at ButterYum

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So Many Pasta Shapes, So Little Time!

So Many Pasta Shapes, So Little Time!

Anyone who’s ever shopped for pasta at a supermarket knows there is an enormous variety available. However, chances are there are even more types of pasta than you’ve seen at your grocery store. Some estimate that there are about 350 different types of pasta around the world, while others estimate that it is closer to 600.

Either way, that’s a lot of types of pasta– why do we have so many different shapes anyways? Was some Italian chef just overly-excited about making new types of pasta, or is there a rhyme or reason behind the extensive variety?

While there are some exceptions, it largely comes down to the one ingredient pasta is most often paired with: sauces. Between classic chunky spaghetti sauces, different oils, cheesy alfredos and more, there are just as many types of sauces as there types of pasta. Different pastas hold different sauces better than others, meaning chefs created pasta shapes to suit their needs. Of course, a lot of it comes down to personal preference and aesthetics as well– everyone has their own favorite kind of pasta, and there’s always some pasta we like just because of the way it looks.

In your own cooking, it’s more straightforward than it seems to pick the right pasta for your dish. As a rule of thumb, simple, thin sauces are best for long and thin pasta. Tomato sauces, thicker and chunkier sauces call for short, tubular and twisted pastas, like penne. Below, we’ve outlined some guidelines for the most common pasta shapes:

  • Spaghetti. The most enduring and beloved pasta of all, this one is great for thin tomato sauces.
  • Linguini. After spaghetti, this is possibly the most popular type of pasta. It’s a lot like spaghetti, but it’s flattened rather than tubular. As a result, it has a more formal appearance and it also holds onto thin, creamy sauces better than regular spaghetti.
  • Penne. These are the short, hollow tubes that are most commonly used in mostaccioli. They are cut at an angle and feature ridges, which makes them great for thicker tomato sauces. The ridges allow heavier sauces to cling to the pasta.
  • Ravioli. The appeal and purpose of ravioli is easy to see: it holds delicious cheeses, meats and stuffings that other pasta doesn’t. Not a hard sell for anyone that’s eaten it before!
  • Farfalle. These are the ones that everyone recognizes as looking like bowties. Aside from being very nice to look at, they’re great for holding a variety of sauces and pasta salads.
  • Tortellini. These look a little bit like belly buttons, and are often referred to as such. Tortellini is best used for broth.

Of course, these are all just guidelines– you should feel free to use these pastas for whatever dish you like. Pierino offers a wide variety of pastas for any dish imaginable, allowing your restaurant or company to make show-stopping meals with the best pasta on the market. Combining generations of experience in making pasta with a top-of-the-line production facility, there’s no one better suited to supply your pasta needs than Pierino.

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Eating Healthy Italian Style

Eating Healthy Italian Style

It’s that time of year again. Everyone’s made New Year’s resolutions that they diligently followed for the first week or two, but as February approaches, it’s getting more and more difficult to stick to resolutions without slipping back into old habits.

Eating healthier is one of the most popular and admirable resolutions, but it gets tricky as soon as you come across your favorite unhealthy foods. As pasta lovers ourselves, we understand that passing up a plate of steaming spaghetti can feel impossible. The good news is that you can still enjoy delicious Italian food without breaking your resolution. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the most popular suggestions for healthy and tasty Italian cuisine.

  • Swap out beef for veggies or mushrooms. To many people, a pasta dish isn’t complete without beef or chicken. We know everyone loves meatballs, but there are healthier alternatives that taste just as good. For instance, consider adding an assortment of veggies to spaghetti, like green peppers, spinach, chunks of tomato, diced onions, chopped carrots, zucchini slices and peas. If you’re still not sold on an all-vegetable dish, try using vegetarian meatballs or adding egg whites or portobello mushrooms. If you’re feeling more adventurous, eggplants and chilies also make for great additions to pasta dishes.
  • Add seafood for a delicious substitute. Many classic dishes are well complemented by seafood as opposed to heavy beef. Shrimp, salmon, prawns, and scallops are all great seafood for pasta dishes, with shrimp alfredo being one of the most popular (and one of our favorites).
  • Add some protein with nuts. This might sound a little out-there at first, but pistachios, walnuts and almonds can all perfectly accent the right pasta dish. Pistachio pasta salad is a great place to start. Shrimp and walnuts make for a unique dish that is sure to please, and don’t forget about pine nuts!
  • Substitute pasta for zucchini or spaghetti squash. This is the sneakiest item on this list, but it’s true: zucchini and spaghetti squash can be just as good as regular pasta. Zucchini is a great low-carb option and can be used as a substitute in many of your favorite recipes. Spaghetti squash is a little farther from the real thing, but it’s still delicious in it’s own right and makes for a great base for savory Italian dishes like this parmesan cheese squash and this mushroom, garlic and sage dish.

Of course, all but the strictest diets will still allow you to eat your favorite pasta dishes in moderation. More often than not, there’s no reason to give up these foods entirely. At Pierino, we make pasta that is a perfect fit for everything from healthy alternatives to traditional Italian dishes.

Great pasta is a family tradition at Pierino. We honor that tradition today by using extra eggs and premiere ingredients with our state-of-the-art production equipment to make the best pasta around. Want to learn more? Call or email us today to learn about our products and how we make pasta that’s better than the rest.

 

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New Year, New “Pasta-bilities”!

New Year, New “Pasta-bilities”!

Welcome to 2016! It’s a brand new year, bursting with promise and possibility. Naturally, we’re just as excited about this as everybody else – we’re looking forward to a great year ahead. This particular new year, though, represents something even more special than usual to us. Pierino Foods is growing and changing – and we’re doing so in a few ways that might have seemed unimaginable a few years ago.

We are a family firm, founded on a proud family name and our own signature pasta recipes. For decades, we’ve built our business on our reputation for integrity, consistency and quality. We’re known as a company that’s remained true to our core goals and principles, and we’ve built a solid bond of trust with our business partners and the buying public that would be the envy of many other companies. We’re proud of that.

It’s been a steady, orderly process that’s gotten us to our current level of success. We began with one man’s dream, a home kitchen, and a lot of hard work; gradually, we’ve built upon that dream to become a nationally known supplier to some of America’s leading food service and restaurant organizations.

All things must change, of course – and in this case, they’re going to be changing for the better. We’ll still be Pierino – the family-owned, family-run company that makes some of the best pasta you’ve ever tasted. But we’re going to be a lot more, too.

Our 45 years in the business have taught us a few things more than just how to make great pasta. We’ve become experts in logistics and distribution. We’ve learned how to freeze, package, and ship our products for the best possible purity and freshness. We’ve learned how to run an economically solid business, how to produce efficiently, how to build relationships throughout our industry, and how to develop processes for continuous improvement that result in our products and our business becoming steadily better and better.

Now, we’re ready to take what we’ve learned and apply it in some new and exciting ways. You’ll be reading about them in detail in this space in the coming months, but for now, we’ve got to keep a lot of the specifics under wraps. Suffice to say that it’s exciting stuff, marking new thinking, new growth, and new possibilities for our company. As of the beginning of 2016, we’re still southeast Michigan’s premier producer of outstanding pasta—but we’ve also become world-class frozen packaged foods experts, and we remain a company guided by vision and committed to quality. All of that adds up to our promise to build on today’s Pierino to create an even stronger, more versatile company – and deliver even more and better products to our customers.

2016 is going to be an exciting, fast-paced, memorable year in our company’s history, and we can’t wait for all our new plans to unfold. In the meantime, we’re glad to be here – and glad to have you along for the ride. Some great things are ahead.

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Pierino Foods Achieves Level 2 SQF Certification

Pierino Foods Achieves Level 2 SQF Certification

It’s official: The Safe Quality Food Institute has awarded Pierino Foods with SQF Level 2 certification.

We’re very pleased, of course. SQF certification indicates that this leading industry organization recognizes our commitment to maintaining the highest possible quality and safety standards for the products we produce, and by extension, the well-being of our customers.

Becoming SQF certified doesn’t mean that we’ve changed the way we run our business, though. We’re a proud family firm. And ever since our founder Pierino Guglielmetti first started cooking up his own family-recipe pastas and sauces in his home kitchen decades ago, we’ve been committed to making sure that every bite we produce is fresh, flavorful, and wholesome.

That’s the commitment that built our reputation for great pasta – and that built our company. It’s a commitment that everyone in the Pierino family takes absolutely seriously, and one that we put into practice every day.

We welcome the Safe Quality Food Institute’s recognition of our efforts to maintain a premium-quality product. We want to be known as a company committed to doing our best, being our best, and producing the very best pasta around, and the SQF certification is one more sign that we’re achieving our goal. SQF certification isn’t a quality “finish line” for us, though – in fact, we’re just getting started.

We believe in continuous improvement, and that is why what we’re doing well today can be done even better tomorrow. We set high goals for ourselves, and work hard to achieve them; when we do, we set the next goal even higher. We’ve got a good reputation and a proud family name to live up to, and we’ll never settle for less than the best.

For more detailed information about Pierino Foods’ SQF certification, please read our official announcement here. If you have any questions about our SQF certification or other quality and safety credentials, please feel free to contact us.

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Welcome to Pierino!

Welcome to Pierino!

Welcome to Pierino. We’re glad you’re here!

This is a new section of our site intended to provide our customers and our colleagues in the wholesale and prepared foods industries with occasional news, insights, and items of interest – things that capture our attention and imagination, and that we think will capture yours.

In this space, you’ll be seeing our occasional insights regarding industry developments and trends, new regulatory requirements, best practices within our field, and any information we feel that it’s important to share or that may help our customers and colleagues.

We’ll also update you about the latest developments here at Pierino Foods. When it’s appropriate, we’ll offer helpful tips, ideas, and recipes that help you get the most out of our products.

We’ve created Pierino News for a simple reason: We feel that information does the most good when it’s shared. We welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas and insights with you – and we welcome your feedback as well. So if you’ve got ideas or questions of your own, please feel free to send them along.

Thanks a lot for stopping by – and be sure to check back often! You’re always welcome here. From Gianni and everyone in the Pierino Foods team, we’re wishing you all the best – from our family to yours.

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