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Cooking articles

Saucy Pastabilities

Whether you need supper in a hurry or a special lunch option at the ever-ready, with a few great spices on hand, you can whip up a great pasta sauce in the time it takes to cook your noodles al dente. Try these sauces (luscious enough for a special meal, too) on noodles of any shape or size!

Rich Red Sauce
This basic red sauce partners well with any pasta. Make a big batch and use it in baked ziti or lasagna one night and over elbows, bowties or spaghetti another. For a Creole twist, simply add dried bell pepper, dried celery, dried onion flakes, and some cayenne pepper.

Pasta Salad Dressing
Leftover pasta will never go to waste if you have a dressing like this on hand. Use it on any plain pasta, along with other salad favorites, like fresh vegetables, cheese cubes, nuts and seeds, chicken or seafood.

Southeast Asian
Sauce Try this exotic, blender-mixed sauce on spaghetti or sesame soba noodles. Kick the fire up a notch or two with chili peppers.

Mac & Cheese Makeover

mac & cheeseServe macaroni and cheese a lot at your house? Keep it from being the same-old same-old by using various types of pasta - spinach, sun-dried tomato, whole wheat. Or why not try a tasty new spice combo. Add spices to your sauce before mixing with the pasta, or combine with Parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs to sprinkle over the top, or simply shake on at the table, in lieu of salt and pepper. Almost any spice will enliven pasta, so experiment with your favorites.

Here are some pastabilities to get you going. For each pound of pasta, start with one of the following combos (add more to taste!):

• 2 tablespoons poppy seed, 1 teaspoon lemon pepper, 3 tablespoons parsley
• 1 tablespoon basil, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons thyme
• 2 tablespoons tarragon, 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika, 2 tablespoons parsley
• 2 teaspoons marjoram, 2 teaspoons dill weed, 2 tablespoons chives

Don’t forget ready-made spice blends, too, like Italian seasoning, herbal seasoning, Mexican seasoning, Thai seasoning.

Ask the Experts

I have a sauce recipe that calls for garlic salt, but I want to reduce my salt intake. Should I just substitute garlic powder?

Garlic powder would be a good substitute, but not in equal quantities. Garlic salt contains mostly salt, with a smidgen of garlic. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, replace it with about 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder, and little or no salt, as you prefer. If you like garlic without the salt, you might also try garlic flakes or granules, or a garlic blend such as garlic pepper. By the way, to substitute for fresh garlic in a recipe, try 1/2 teaspoon garlic
powder, 1 teaspoon garlic granules, or 3/4 teaspoon garlic flakes for each clove of garlic.

Why do most recipes that use bay leaf only call for one leaf? And is it really harmful to eat the leaf?

Bay is mostly used to meld other flavors. It’s pretty powerful, though, so a handful of leaves would overpower most dishes. A leaf or two does the trick in sauces, stocks, chowders, stews, juices and bouquet garni. You might try cooking a bay leaf in the milk you’re using for custards and rice puddings, too. The bay used in cooking is Laurus nobilis, and it’s the only laurel that is not toxic. Still, you’ll want to remove it from your dish before serving because it’s no fun to chew on!

Why Frontier Bulk Spices?

USDA Organic logoFrontier bulk spices are fresh and potent - bright, not faded, richly aromatic, not faint. We carry a vast selection of organic bulk spices and seasonings, and we actively work to protect the environment by supporting organic farming practices.

Learn more about our social responsibility efforts.

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