Monday, October 3, 2011

Pasta Bowls & Healthy Foods Make Easy Entertaining

With fall comes cooler temperatures and a desire to prepare our nest for the cold winter months.  We have a natural tendency to want to stay inside more as the days get shorter. Being inside doesn't mean we need to feel isolated or away from the world.  In fact, now is the perfect time to have friends and family over for an informal gathering.

Rosanna Canvas Totes
As the summer growing season comes to an end, we must take advantage of our last opportunities to find local fresh fruits and vegetables.   Fall is a great time to head to the farmers market.  Recently I made a trip to my local farmers' market and filled my Rosanna Canvas Tote with delicious fresh tomatoes.  I like to prepare fresh tomato sauce for my pasta when local tomatoes are at their peak, then freeze it in individual containers for use during the winter months.  It makes a quick go-to meal for my family, and gives me the assurance that it is healthy too.

Pasta sauce is easy to make.  (In a previous blog entry I shared my basic tomato sauce recipe.)  Italians make their pasta sauce with whatever they have in the kitchen.  My basic tomato sauce allows me to add in meats, vegetables, or turn it into a vodka sauce, depending on what I currently have in my kitchen.  It makes an easy start to the tradition of a Family Pasta Night.   If you don't have a Family Pasta Night yet, starting one will give your family a ritual to look forward to, a way to create memories, and a chance to sit together around the table and connect.

Pasta Italiana Collection
You might decide to have friends over for Pasta Night.  This is one of the easiest ways to entertain.  You can make dinner at the last minute, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests.  It was this idea that inspired my Pasta Italiana Collection.  Each of the 4 pasta bowls features one of my pasta recipes you can use for an upcoming Pasta Night.  The Pasta Italiana serving bowl makes it easy to serve family style meals and allows guests to serve themselves a second helping of the delicious pasta.

Farmer's Market Collection

Pasta bowls are fun, unique, and great for casual entertaining.  They can bring a splash of color to  your table.  I've also made my pasta bowls instructional. The Farmer's Market Collection is a set of 4 pasta bowls that are also ideal for soups, salads, and vegetables.  Each of the four bowls features one of the four seasons--spring, summer, fall, and winter--and is adorned with colorful seasonal vegetables that can be found at their peak in the specific season, making them not only beautiful and utilitarian, but also instructional.  I use the large serving bowl nearly every day in my house.

An important part of living healthy is knowing what to eat.  Studies show that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets to follow.  (See previous post for details.)  Fill your table with healthy whole grain pastas, fresh salads, ripe tomato sauce, and don't forget the olive oil.  The Farmers' Market dipping dishes are perfect for dipping your bread in healthy olive oil.

Start a weekly tradition of Family Pasta Night or invite friends over this week for a Pasta Night.  The warmth you feel from the food will be matched only by the warmth you feel from connecting with others.

For more tips on Pasta Night, the collections in this post, and my tomato sauce recipe, watch Episode 2 of Rosanna TV, available on my YouTube Channel.

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