Welcome back to QCK!
It’s been a minute. Life has been so crazy between school, starting up Visual Black Justice, writing projects, and everything else in the world. But I’ve been working on a project that I’m really excited to share with you all, so here we are!
As many of you know, Minneapolis’ historic Lake St. was hit especially hard this year. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and being the center of civil unrest this summer, we’ve lost a lot of one-of-a-kind small, local and BIPOC-owned businesses. That’s why this holiday season, I’m partnering with Visit Lake Street, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, to highlight some of my favorite Lake Street businesses. My hope is to share some spots that you might not be familiar with, or maybe you are, and encourage you to check them out and show your support by purchasing items or even just giving a follow on social media.
Today, I want to highlight my absolute favorite specialty grocery store in Minneapolis, Grassroots Gourmet! Located in the center of Midtown Global Market, Grassroots Gourmet specializes in locally sourced specialty groceries from fresh bread, handmade pasta, cheese and charcuterie items. If you’re hosting a small holiday get-together this year, Grassroots Gourmet is the perfect spot for everything you need to make an awesome charcuterie board. Or, pick up some fun jams, honey, spices, and other treats and make the perfect gift box to give to your foodie friend as a holiday gift! Check out The Produce Exchange right next door for fresh pears, pomegranates, locally sourced hummus, and other accoutrements.
When I go, I always pick up a bag or two of Sunrise pasta, this stuff is so good and it comes in all different shapes and flavors! Roasted red pepper lasagnetta pictured above. I also love to keep a roll of Farmhouse Kitchens butter on hand, one salted to shmear on bread and one unsalted for cooking. But my favorite thing at Grassroots Gourmet are the mini cheese wedges! These are perfect if you just want to try something new but don’t want to commit to a full wheel. I usually pick up something soft for snacking and something for grating over pasta.
Which brings us to today’s recipe, Lasagnetta a la Vodka. This is one of my go-to weeknight pasta recipes because it’s quick (20 mins) and easy but so delicious and comforting. It’s full of warm, umami garlic and onion with tangy tomato and vodka and super creamy with fresh grated Parm. Reg. and fresh cracked black pepper on top. It slaps, to say the least.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s so simple and minimal, but high quality ingredients can really elevate it. So, I like to use handmade noodles and high quality butter, cheese, vodka and tomato paste. It’s still just as easy, but it tastes like a totally different dish when you upgrade those ingredients.
|Prep: 5 Mins||Cook: 15 Mins||Difficulty: Easy||Servings: 4|
- 1 Lb Sunrise Collective Gourmet Red Pepper Lasagnetta
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Med. Yellow Onion, diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
- 1/4 C Reserved Pasta Water
- 3 Tbsp Vodka
- 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed
- Parmigiano Reggiano, grated for serving
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, for serving
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to directions on package.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and allow it to heat up for a minute.
- Add onion and garlic to olive oil and sauté until translucent and aromatic.
- Add tomato paste and reserved pasta water, stir until incorporated.
- Turn heat to low and carefully stir in the vodka until fully incorporated.
- Turn heat back up to medium and stir in heavy whipping cream.
- Add salt and pepper and simmer 5-6 minutes to allow the vodka to cook off, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the sauce for any extra seasoning it may need, add salt and pepper accordingly.
- In the pan, combine the sauce with the pasta, stir and toss until all noodles are evenly coated.
- Distribute cubed butter throughout the pasta and gently stir it in until its fully melted.
- Serve warm with fresh grated Parm. Reg. and cracked black pepper.
The holiday season is crucial for small businesses, this year more than ever. Remember to shop small, shop BIPOC, and support your community where you can this winter. Lake Street is the perfect place to start! For more information check out visitlakestreet.com or check out Visit Lake Street on Instagram and Facebook!