For some, nothing quite says comfort food more than pasta.
Creamette Pasta announced its Creamette Comfort Food Recipe and Essay Contest in March. Families were invited to submit their favorite comfort-food recipes, using Creamette Pasta, and an essay on what makes the dish so comforting.
Cheryl Lundquist, 44, of Hagerstown has been named a finalist for the contest.
Lundquist is competing against nine other dishes for a chance to win $10,000. Nine first-prize winners will each receive $500.
Creamette Pasta partnered with chef and cookbook author Ann Burckhardt to celebrate the pasta’s 100th anniversary by hosting the contest.
Winners will be determined by an online vote at Creamette.newworldpasta.com/100thanniversary. Voting closes Thursday, July 18. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Aug. 1.
While getting ready for her wedding, Lundquist took a few minutes late last week to chat about her dish and cooking.
How long have you been cooking?
Since I made homemade gingerbread men with my grandmother. I really became serious with creating unique recipes two years ago.
What are your favorite things to make?
I love to experiment with different spices and global flavors. Italian and Mediterranean are favorite dishes to serve. I also enjoy grilling meats and fresh vegetables.
I understand you like to do your own twist on traditional Italian dishes. Can you give me some other examples?
I make an awesome eggplant Florentine lasagna and a hearty chicken gnocchi soup. I also make a roasted Tuscan potato salad. All three of these recipes have won awards.
Tell me about how you created this dish.
I knew I wanted a dish that was full of flavors and colors to impress, but also a dish easy enough for anyone to make on a weeknight. Pasta is so versatile it is easy to create something inspiring with ingredients you already have on hand.