This past weekend in Miami was the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. It’s a wine and food lovers paradise. I love cooking Latin dishes, especially Cuban food – hubby loves Vaca Frita, and the kids all love a plate of Arroz Chaufa. A nice heaping plate of Arroz Imperial or Arroz con Pollo is a staple at my, and many a Latino table. In fact, rice is one of the main ingredients in so many dishes that sometimes you just need something different. Which is why Barilla Pasta partnered with celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffmann to create a new type of cuisine, the Latino Italian Fusion.
We were fortunate to be invited to SOBEWFF to experience a delicious tasting experience during the demonstration of a Latin-inspired pasta recipe created by Ingrid — Chicken and Penne Puerto Rican Style, exclusively for Barilla. Listen in on the interview with Chef Ingrid Hoffmann and check out the exclusive recipe below!
Interview with Chef Ingrid Hoffmann
Q: At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a chef?
Ingrid: I started cooking at the age of four, on a stool with my mom. Then, throughout my life I worked in her restaurant and catering business to earn extra money as a kid. I think that cooking always looked for me. Every time that I tried to do other things, I would be called back into a kitchen. My passion has always been to cook and to feed people. I never imagined that I could put all my hobbies together and make it a career. I am very lucky to have been able to accomplish that.
Q. Do you have any advice for young Latinas who want to become a chef?
Ingrid: If you find your passion, whatever career you pick or job, realize that is where you are going to spend most of your life. So pick something that you REALLY like, that you have a passion for, so that when you are exhausted and you get up and you go, it’s not a chore. It’s the motivator and the driver – that it’s fun. You really need to enjoy doing it. It’s really hard work and there are setbacks. I have learned more from doors that have closed on me, then those that have opened for me. It takes time to get to the top. This isn’t a job for princesses. Kitchens are nasty, tough, small and sweaty. If you can’t take the heat – don’t come into the kitchen.
Q: What is Latino Italian Fusion?
Ingrid: What we are doing is a movement, Latino Italian Fusion. Every culture loves pasta. We are taking the traditional flavors and traditions of Latinos and mixing them with Italian pasta. So instead of the traditional Arroz con Pollo, we swap the rice for pasta. So for those that want to recreate their own dishes with a twist, simply swap out the main ingredient like rice for pasta. It can work for any dish, any culture, any region. It’s about mixing the two cultures together, having fun and getting you out of your cooking rut.
About Latino Italian Fusion
Barilla is celebrating culinary creativity and passion for new flavors and cuisines with Latino Italian Fusion, a culinary movement that encourages Latinas to showcase their heritage in the kitchen. By leveraging ingredients that are already familiar to them along with Barilla pasta, Latinas have the opportunity to add their own sazón and create unique pasta dishes that the entire family will enjoy.
Join the conversation #LatinoItalianFusion
- 1 box Barilla Penne
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons all purpose seasoning with annatto (adobo con achiote), divided
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup green olives, pitted and drained
- ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon seasoning
- Brown chicken for about 3 minutes each side.
- Remove chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
- In the same pan, add onion, garlic, peppers and the remaining seasoning. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, peas and carrots, 3 tablespoons cilantro, salt and pepper, and the chicken.
- Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook per the box’s instructions.
- Drain the pasta.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and the remaining cilantro.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.