Friday, January 31, 2014

Pasta Combo Chart Page 2 - 2014 Update!


This is the second page of our two page Pasta Combo Chart 2014 Edition.  We hope you find this chart handy for ideas on how to pair our pastas with great ingredients for a wonderful meal.  We have updated the combinations to be more current, and many new ideas have been added.  Also, we now indicate which of our flavored pasta is also available in Gluten Free!

The chart above is a simple JPG image, in other words, much like an image from a digital camera.  To copy it to your PC, simply right click with your mouse on the image.  Select 'Save Image As...' and place into into the folder of your choice on your computer.

If you prefer, write to us at customerservice@nansgourmetfoods.com and we can send you a full two page PDF version.

We would love to hear your ideas as well – let us know your favorite combinations!

Pasta Combo Chart Page 1 - 2014 Update!


This is page 1 of our two page Pasta Combo Chart 2014 Edition.  We hope you find this chart handy for ideas on how to pair our pastas with great ingredients for a wonderful meal.  We have updated the combinations to be more current, and many new ideas have been added.  Also, we now indicate which of our flavored pasta is also available in Gluten Free!

The chart above is a simple JPG image, in other words, much like an image from a digital camera.  To copy it to your PC, simply right click with your mouse on the image.  Select 'Save Image As...' and place into into the folder of your choice on your computer.

If you prefer, write to us at customerservice@nansgourmetfoods.com and we can send you a full two page PDF version.

We would love to hear your ideas as well – let us know your favorite combinations!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Honey Ricotta Mousse with Cherry Balsamic Black Pepper Marinated Cherries

Our philosophy with food at Nan’s is to create ‘simple but elegant’ dishes.  The following is a great example:  we have taken a sophisticated dessert and made it very easy to make.  The intention is for you to make something magical for your loved one in very little time.

Please do not let the black pepper/balsamic vinegar/fruit combo scare you.  Believe it or not, it is a common dessert offering in Italy.  The next time you have some extra fresh strawberries, slice and place them in a bowl.  Drizzle with a small amount of a high quality aged balsamic vinegar like our Pastamoré Barrel-Aged Balsamic, grind some fresh pepper on the top and serve.  It is a delightful and surprising taste sensation – special, grown-up and not too sweet.

We used frozen cherries for this, but strawberries, raspberries or even blackberries would work just as well.  Pair with our other flavored balsamics, like our Pastamoré Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar or Pastamoré Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar.  Normally we are advocates of fresh ingredients, but as you know Valentine’s Day falls in winter, not summer, so frozen will do just fine.


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fresh ricotta  
  • 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups whole frozen sweet cherries, thawed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon Pastamoré Dark Sweet Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • fresh mint leaves (optional as garnish)

Place the ricotta, honey, and vanilla bean in the small bowl of a food processor and process/pulse until smooth. Cover and refrigerate minimum 1 hour to meld flavors.


Place the cherries in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar and add a small amount of ground pepper.  Stir to combine.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.


To serve, divide the cherry mixture between two glasses (we recommend martini glasses) or bowls and top with a scoop of ricotta mousse. Garnish with mint and a light dusting of black pepper, if desired.  Serves 2.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cajun Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with Pear Balsamic Reduction


As we continue our theme of using flavored balsamic vinegars as a secret ingredient, here is a decadent recipe for one of our favorite food items, sea scallops.  Don’t let the components intimidate you, this is an easy recipe to prepare, and the prep time should be no more than 15 minutes.

What is fun about this recipe is that you can vary it in different ways simply by using a different variation of our flavored balsamic vinegars.  Here some quick thoughts: 
  • Pastamoré White Balsamic with Pear:  obviously this is the one we choose to publish.  White balsamics tend to be lighter and more delicate than traditional balsamic vinegar.  The flavor of the pear is subtle, but marries well with the richness of the sweet scallops.  
  • Pastamoré Traditional Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar:  this is a classic pairing.  The balsamic flavor here is more robust and pronounced.  You will not need as much time to reduce this as it is quite thick already.  
  • Pastamoré Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar:  we found this version to be fun and a bit eclectic.  The raspberry balsamic matches the best with the spinach, and it too is more robust.  We think this would be nicely paired as a summer outdoor dish warm or cold.
  • Pastamoré Passion Fruit White Balsamic:  another 'white and lighter' option, but the passion fruit comes through in spades.  This changes the entire dish to be more exotic, tropical and Caribbean.


for the scallops

  • 10 large sea scallops
  • 10 thin slices Pancetta
  • Cajun Magic Cajun Spice Mix
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


for the spinach salad

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine 
Prepare balsamic reduction:  Pour White Balsamic with Pear Vinegar in sauce pan and simmer over low heat reduced by about ½.   Set aside and let cool.

Wrap each scallop individually with one slice of pancetta and secure with a toothpick.  Dredge scallops wrapped in pancetta in Cajun seasoning.  Heat a skillet over medium heat with ¼ cup olive oil. Cook sea scallops on each side for about two minutes or until done (seared golden).  In a second sauté pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and quickly sauté spinach, shallots and garlic for about one minute.  Add white wine and cook for another minute, until spinach is tender. Place small amount of spinach on a plate and place 2 scallops on top. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.

Serves 5 as appetizer.