It’s easy to think of ingredients to add to pasta – the sky is truly the limit – but there’s one specific element that’s often overlooked, and that’s texture. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: pasta is soft, and all chefs know that one of the keys to a great dish is contrast. Adding something crunchy to pasta takes the dish to a whole new level of textures and flavors, and it’s almost just as easy as drizzling olive oil on top. And if you’re wondering if this is a legit, Italian-recommended tip, don’t worry: it is.
I’m reminded of this technique by a particularly delicious pasta lunch I had at Masi Winery in Verona, Italy, pictured above. The ravioli dish calls for Giovanni Rana’s artichoke ravioli, artichoke hearts, squash blossoms, buttery shrimp, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and the real star: golden-brown fried sunchoke chips on top (no, they’re not potato chips!). A sunchoke, or a Jerusalem artichoke, resembles a ginger root when raw, but when thinly sliced and fried, it’s a slightly sweet and nutty vegetable that’s the ultimate companion for rich and cheesy pasta. Each bite of chewy, pillowy ravioli paired with a bite of the crisp sunchoke chip is a seriously perfect match.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “There’s no way I’m going to slice and fry a fancy vegetable just for pasta,” never fear. One of the easiest and quickest ways to get the same textural effect is by sprinkling breadcrumbs on pasta. Whether you’re making spaghetti and clams with brown butter and garlic breadcrumbs or Chrissy Teigen’s cheesy breadcrumbs or a fast and easy pasta with pesto and breadcrumbs, the secret is in the skillet: toast your (preferably panko) breadcrumbs over low heat until they become slightly golden brown, and add them directly to your finished pasta for a little crunch in every bite. No matter how you choose to add texture, you’ll wonder why you never did it before.
Travel and expenses for the author and photographer were provided by Giovanni Rana for the purpose of writing this story.
Oftentimes when you get home from work, the last thing you want to do is pull out all the stops and make a big, elaborate dinner. Even less so, you’re probably not eager to go right back out to pick up takeout. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up 10 versatile options that, with a little planning at the beginning of the week, will be totally worth it to just heat up and dish out in the evenings. In fact, we think you’ll be counting down the minutes to dinnertime with these in mind. Dig in.
In case you missed it, Tokyo Disney has some of the best food, including potato churros! While this may look like your average churro from Disneyland, it’s not coated in the typical cinnamon-sugar topping. Instead, it’s entirely savory with a salty, slightly crispy exterior and a soft potato center. Park-goers are finding these tasty snacks at Tokyo DisneySea, one of Tokyo’s two Disney parks. According to one Disney fan who reviewed the potato churro, it’s similar to a french fry. She wrote, “Think of it as a giant french fry shaped like a churro. Its texture was sorta like a rice cake. Soft to bite into and a little chewy.” Yum! For those of us who always prefer salty over sweet, this is basically the dream. We’ve officially added this to our list of must-try Disney foods both in the US and internationally.
If you love waffles and colorful, decadent desserts, then you’re about to be obsessed with these waffle pops. Sweet Combforts in Irvine, CA, has stepped up the street food game with its indulgent treats. Each waffle is dipped in cookie butter, coated in your favorite toppings, and drizzled with chocolate and powdered sugar. What’s not to love?
Pink Starburst-lovers, rejoice! Starburst has released individual packs of all-pink Starbursts that will be available for a limited time starting in April. We know what you’re thinking: didn’t Starburst already announce an all-pink bag? Yes, but now that the classic packs of 12 Starbursts come in all pink, you won’t have to resort to buying a whole bag just to get your fix. We’re all too familiar with the crushing disappointment of opening a pack and finding orange after yellow after another yellow and cherishing our precious pink piece when we finally find it, so this news is borderline life changing. You’ll no longer have to fight over the last pink one anymore if you’re sharing with a friend – there’s plenty to go around! The all-pink packs will be available in stores for a limited time starting in April, so keep your eyes peeled for this pastel pink treasure in the candy aisle, and stock up while you can.
In early April, rumors began circulating that Starbucks would be unveiling a magical multicolored Unicorn Frappuccino. Now those rumors have been confirmed! After baristas reportedly tested out the recipe for about a week, the highly anticipated drink is getting an official spot on the menu.
Starbucks employees and customers alike have since taken to Instagram to share pictures of the drink. According to one barista, the Unicorn Frappuccino consists of mango creme, pink powder, sour blue syrup, and whipped cream topped with blue and pink powder (aka unicorn dust). This barista ultimately found the drink to be too sweet; however, he did say it reminded him of a mango smoothie.
As for its release date, the Unicorn Frappuccino is happening sooner than you think. Several baristas said the drink will be available on April 19, but we called a local Starbucks that said April 20. Regardless, we recommend you call your nearest location to get a definitive answer. Ahead, enjoy pictures of the colorful creation.
Want to feel happily ever after? Take a look at these 20 Disney wedding cakes, inspired by princesses, Mickey, and more classic characters. Pin them for your upcoming wedding . . . or, you know, future dream wedding.
Stocking up on cold-brew coffee is one of the best ways to guarantee you always have a source of on-the-go caffeine waiting for you. And when our editors need a boost early in the morning but would rather skip the pot of brewed coffee and the long coffee-shop line, there are a few store-bought cold brews that we reach for. If you’ve browsed the aisles in the grocery store but haven’t been sure which coffees are worth the purchase, look no further. Ahead, see which bottles we totally swear by and why, then pick up a few the next time you want to fill your fridge with the perfect morning pick-me-up.
Bringing lunch to work is something we all have the best intentions of doing, but oftentimes time gets away from us in the mornings, and before we know it, we’re busting out our wallets in the Chipotle, sandwich, and salad lines again and again. The secret to maintaining a lunch packing routine is meal prep. By planning a variety of options and preparing food ahead of time at the beginning of the week, you’ll find that it’s not all that hard to pack healthy meals you’ll actually want to eat. Here are 10 options that will have you counting down the minutes to lunch every day.
Is there anything more iconic that the electric-purple-and-blue-frosted Wild Berry Pop-Tart? Now there is! We just upped the game with this gigantic version that’s sure to blow the original out of the water. You’ll be dreaming of this sweet and tangy treat for days to come. For more supersized foods, check out our giant pancakes and doughnut.
- For pie crust:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 sticks butter, cubed
3/4 cup ice-cold water
- For filling:
1 1/2 cups mixed berry jam
2 tablespoons agar-agar
- For frosting:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons corn syrup
To make pie crust: Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. With the processor running, slowly pour in about half the water in a slow steady stream: stop when the dough holds together without turning wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, then add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a flat rectangle shape. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
To make the filling: Combine the mixed berry jam and agar-agar in a saucepan and heat on high until it begins to boil. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool.
- When the pie dough is ready, roll out the first piece on a floured surface until it is about a couple inches wider and longer than your sheet pan on either side. Gently place the dough onto the pan, pressing it firmly into the corners. Fill the pan with your filling, smoothing it out. Roll out the second piece of dough the same as the first. Place it over the top of the pan. Using a fork, crimp around all of the edges of the pan. Cut off any excess dough hanging over the sides of the pan and cut some small vent holes across the top crust layer.
- Bake at 400°F for about 45 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.
To make frosting: Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and corn syrup into a bowl, stirring until achieving a thick frosting-like consistency. Separate out 2 tablespoons of the frosting into a smaller bowl. Use food coloring to make the large bowl of frosting purple and the small bowl blue.
To assemble: Spread the purple frosting over the warm Pop-Tart. Using a piping bag with a small tip, zigzag the blue frosting across the top of the Pop-Tart. Enjoy!
- Desserts, Pastries
- 20 servings
- Cook Time
- 2 1/2 hours