Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's All About Pizza and Pasta: Food Magazine's Food Tastings at Project Pie

Pizza, pasta and good times...with Food Magazine at Project Pie.

Food magazine celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a series of free cooking classes for its loyal readers, foodies, and kitchen-savvy people, dubbed simply as "Food Tastings."

The first leg of the "Food Tastings" series kicked off last March 21, 2015 at Project Pie, featuring the comforting and classic tandem of pizza and pasta with easy to follow recipes that you can recreate at home. Participants also had the opportunity to create their very own pizza at Project Pie at the end of the demo.  

Registration started after lunch, as loyal readers and the magazine's fans lined up for the much anticipated event, the first in a series of four free cooking classes. It was also a privilege to be tapped as one of Food Magazine's many media partners, making this event even more special on a personal note.

The first Food Tastings class by Food Magazine featured Portia Baluyut, the creative and dynamic restaurateur behind Isabelo's Garden and Rustic Mornings by Isabelo, and host of Lifestyle Network's A Pinch of Portia...

...and Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin, a successful caterer in LA and culinary instructor in California, goes back to her roots as head of the GCIC Culinary Arts department driven by one goal: professionalize would-be Filipino chefs for the global stage. With such impressive guests, the first Food Tastings for the year by Food Magazine kicks off with a round of appetizing and delectable pasta dishes...

Restaurateur and TV Host Portia Baluyut recreates the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean with her traditional Chicken and Chorizo Summer Cream Tomato Pasta, a hearty and comforting dish with bold and upfront flavors. After just a few minutes, the dish is ready, and guests enjoyed sampling portions of the quick and easy pasta dish. You can enjoy fresh flavors from a good pasta dish, simply done without being too complicated. And you can recreate this flavorful pasta dish from Portia Baluyut in your kitchen, simply scroll down for the recipe.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin then prepared her classic Conchiglie with Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese pasta, blending the richness of goat cheese and the distinct sharpness of sun-dried tomatoes in a rustic dish. Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin goes through each stage in the preparation of the dish, from slicing the tomatoes and the mushrooms to final plating with ease. And her dish proves once again that you can enjoy bold flavors with the simplest pasta dish using the freshest ingredients.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin's next dish is the Pasta Portobello, with my favorite mushroom as the base. The nutty notes of the Portobello are perfectly balanced by the rich layers of flavors from the ricotta cheese and fresh herbs. The simplicity of the dish is deceptive, with its rich flavors lingering long after the first bite.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin then caps the demo with her impressive Seafood Pasta with Squid Ink Sauce or pasta Negra, with fresh seafood and a great pasta dish just in time for Lent. The freshness of the prawns, with its delectable "snap" adds texture to the dish, contrasting with the soft yet firm and flavorful squid ink noodles. The subtle briny sweetness from the seafood and the squid ink add distinct layers of flavor to the dish, and you too can recreate this dish in your home with the recipes shared by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin.

After a round of flavorful pasta dishes by Portia Baluyut and Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin, it was time for Project Pie's young pizza masters to take the stage with their inventive pizza creations. The short and fun demo highlighted the infinite possibilities and variations in creating your very own pizza with Project Pie's impressive range of toppings.

Then, the participants at Food Magazine's Food Tastings prepare to make their very own signature pizza creation as Project Pie's friendly staff assist the guests. Guests were allowed a rare opportunity to go behind the counter and choose their toppings to highlight the fun-filled event by Food Magazine.  

And the participants eagerly responded to the challenge, loading up on the premium toppings for a wide range of flavorful combinations. Part of the fun of enjoying a classic pizza is making your own...

Participants rushed back with their trays filled with toppings as they prepared the ultimate pizza. And with pride, guests displayed their creations before heading to the ovens. And in just a few minutes, the pizza is ready to be enjoyed and shared. 

For my pizza creation, I go for the prosciutto and bacon as the base for a classic white pizza, topped with gorgonzola, blue cheese, red onions, and candied walnuts. The robust salty and smoky notes from the prosciutto and bacon are tempered by the richness of the gorgonzola and blue cheese, punctuated by the sharpness of the red onions and the subtle nutty sweetness of the candied walnuts for balanced flavors...perfect.

Pasta, pizza and good times. Congratulations to Food Magazine on their 20th Anniversary and a flavorful and fun-filled Food Tastings experience at Project Pie, and it was really fun to be a part of it. The next series of fun classes of "Food Tastings" will run throughout the year, where participants can discover and explore recipes on health and wellness, hearty breakfast meals, and indulgent desserts. Can't wait for the next round of Food the meantime, enjoy some of the tasty pasta recipes by Portia Baluyut and Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin.

Chicken & Chorizo Summer Cream Tomato Pasta by Portia Baluyut

1 chicken breast, cubed
1 Spanish chorizo
1 tbsp paprika
4 cloves of garlic
Half an onion, white
Yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
Green bell pepper, sliced thinly
3-4 pcs fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
3 pcs cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup cooking cream
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
Italian flat parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
Tagliatelle pasta

1.  Cook pasta noodles according to package instructions.
2.  In a medium pan, and in medium heat, pour olive oil. Add sliced chorizo, chicken breast, and paprika. Saute until half cooked.
3.  Add garlic, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Saute for another minute.
4.  Add stewed tomatoes, sliced using your spatula.
5.  Add cooking cream and brown sugar. Mix until all vegetables and meat are cooked, season with salt and pepper.
6.  Upon serving, grate some Parmesan and top with freshly chopped Italian flat parsley.

Conchiglie with Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin

250 g shell "conchiglie" pasta, cooked al dente
200 g soft goat cheese
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
1 cup white button mushrooms, fresh, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated, for garnish
fresh basil leaves, whole, for garnish

1.  Heat the saute pan in medium heat. Add oil, garlic, and onions, cook until onions are translucent. Do not burn.
2.  Add zucchini, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and cook for 5-8 minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables.
3.  Lower the heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. When the cheese has softened, add the pasta and chopped basil. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.
4.  Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with basil leaves.
Variation: You may add chicken if desired.

Pasta Portobello by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin

200 g Portobello mushrooms, sliced
200 g spinach or kale leaves, coarsely chopped
250 g pasta farfalle, cooked al dente
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthwise
2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsps salt, to taste
2 tbsps ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese, garnish (optional)
2 tbsps fresh parsley, garnish

1.  Heat the saute pan in medium heat.
2.  Add half of the olive oil and the garlic. Cook the garlic until light brown then add the mushrooms, spinach, or kale and fresh thyme over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
3.  Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper.
4.  Add the cooked pasta, the remaining olive oil and chopped parsley. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to plate. Garnish with Ricotta cheese and parsley.
Variation: You may add cream, yogurt, or ricotta cheese if desired.

Seafood Pasta with Squid Ink Sauce (Pasta Negra) by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin

250 g Linguine or Angel Hair Pasta, cooked al dente
1/4 K squid, cleaned, sliced
1/4 K mussels, cleaned, cooked
1/4 K clams, cleaned, cooked
1/4 K prawns, cooked, peeled, leave head and tail on
1-2 tbsps squid ink
4 tbsps olive oil
5 cloves, minced
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 tbsp dry white wine
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parlesy, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt, to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated

1.  Heat the saute pan in medium heat. Add oil, garlic and onions, cook until onions are translucent.
2.  Pour the wine and reduce in half, then add the tomatoes and simmer.
3.  Add the squid and continue cooking until cooked through, around 4-8 minutes.
4.  Add the squid ink, red pepper flakes, and mix well. Lower the heat, season with salt and black pepper and simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
5.  Add the pasta and half of chopped parsley into the sauce. Remove the pan from heat and transfer pasta into a plate. Garnish with mussels, clams, prawns, chopped parsley, and grated cheese.

Project Pie is located at Tomas Morato corner Scout Lozano, Quezon City or call 0917-516-1524 for inquiries.

Food Magazine is available in all major newsstands nationwide. Can't find your favorite magazine? Head over to for ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc.'s magazine titles.

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