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March 1997

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Food and Wine Magazine
March 1997

Winter Pasta
Amanda Cushman makes the most of
hearty vegetables

In the years I've been teaching low-fat cooking classes, I've mastered a lot of tricks. But as I tell my students, the most important lesson has nothing to do with tricks: it's that fresh, seasonal produce is the key to great taste, especially when butter and oil are kept to a minimum. Even in the north in winter, a surprisingly large number of vegetables are available- I use 11 different ones in this hearty pasta dinner.

To start, there's a creamy soup made with earthy root vegetables, including parsnips, carrots, and celery root, and enriched with pureed red potato. The main-course fusilli features sautéed escarole and poached chicken with plum tomatoes, which I oven roast to concentrate their flavor and bring out their natural sweetness. And there's a refreshingly tart shiitake mushroom and red pepper salad to serve alongside. If you want to round out the meal with dessert, serve an orange-grapefruit-lime compote to capitalize on the season's best fruits.


Creamy Root Vegetable Soup
Fusilli with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken
Shiitake Mushroom Sauté with Watercress

Wine Picks:

A Sauvignon Blanc from the New World, such as the 1996 Taltarni from Australia or the 1995 Cain Musque from California, has enough fruitiness to match the sweet parsnip and carrot soup and enough of an herbal edge to set off the bitter notes of the escarole in the pasta.  



Simple, Real Food Book Simple, Real Food: Delicious clean food prepared simply

My cookbook Simple Real Food can be purchased online.

The price is $24.95 and the book can be sent to your home or office. It can be included with a gift certificate for a cooking class as the perfect present.

Book Details

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