Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Avocado Pesto Pasta

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: Tangy, buttery Avocado Pesto Pasta a la vegan Chef Chloe Coscarelli. Liz marinated perfectly cooked macaroni and rigatoni pasta in a zesty pesto sauce replete with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. The recipe calls for one bunch of fresh basil, but with none on hand, Liz improvised with dry basil and fresh spinach leaves. She paired this rich, savory dish with two varieties of rosemary-seasoned roasted potatoes and a veggie-filled side salad including spinach, cabbage, onion, halved cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, grated carrot, and two types of mushrooms.

The Goods: While we'd take any excuse to whip up a batch of this super satisfying summer pasta, today's lunch was inspired by Chef Chloe's appearance on tonight's episode of Cupcake Wars, a new Food Network cooking competition. Chloe is the only vegan chef on tonight's episode, and we'll be rooting for her to claim the top prize: A chance to cater a star-studded magazine party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Last February, she catered a star-studded magazine party—which we like to call lunch— at the VNHQ. Her lovely, themed Valentine's Day feast completely blew us away. Also, Chloe just might be featured in VN's July+August Anniversary issue, which hits newsstands on July 1—okay, she most definitely is. Yes, we're pretty much obsessed with this rising star chef.

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