Acorn Squash Soup Recipe

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Even though it feels like we’re experiencing a “heat wave”, with the recent frigid temperatures, we still have a few more months of winter left. Which is OK when you have a homemade recipe such as our Acorn Squash Soup to warm you up! Try it and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. acorn squash (1 large or two smaller)
  • 3 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅔ c coconut milk
  • 3 ½ c vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400*.
  • Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place cut-side up on baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO.
  • Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and rub with EVOO. Place face-down on baking sheet.
  • Roast for 45 minutes (should be very tender) at 400*. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can touch it without getting burned.
  • Remove skin and place squash and potatoes into a large bowl
  • Heat up remaining EVOO in large pot
  • Sauté onion until translucent
  • Stir in spices, cook until fragrant
  • Add in broth, squash and sweet potato, bring to a simmer, cook about 15 minutes
  • Blend until smooth in batches, return to pot, add in the coconut milk and any additional spices you desire
  • Serve with a sprinkle of garam masala and enjoy!
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How To Practice Mindfulness This Holiday Season

 

Roma Blog 12-22-17

In the hustle and bustle of it all, it can be overwhelming to do just about anything. Let alone do something such as practicing mindfulness. What does that even mean? And how could you possibly do it when you’re so busy. There’s that word. If we had to guess, it’s probably one of the most used words in out there, and sadly the response that many give when asked how they are. Soon you’ll start to realize that all you ever are is busy. What do you miss out on because you’re so busy, we are also guessing that it’s more than you want to.  So, before Christmas is really here, let’s ground ourselves so that we can soak up as much holiday cheer as possible with these tips.

  1. Set the stage. Before walking into a room of holiday (chaos), ground yourself. Sit down and set a time limit, it can be 5 or 10 minutes, or longer if you have the time. Make sure you are alone in a distraction-free environment.
  2. Be aware of your body, how you feel, and find your breath. Concentrate on your breath filling your lungs and how it feels as they deflate as you exhale.
  3. Notice how your body feels and what your five senses are taking in at the moment.
  4. Allow your mind to wander, but do your best not to give into any potential anxieties. Accept them as they are and to let them go.
  5. Take deep breaths and exhale steadily, practice control.

It just takes five minutes to clear your mind! We hope these tips contribute to be more present this holiday season and to truly enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Happy Holidays!

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5 Things Learned While Making Homemade Ravioli

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I’ve always wanted to make pasta. And for the better part of a year, I was really going to make it. I even had a growing collection of Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious magazines stacked with their covers raving about scratch pasta and how it was worth the mess. To be honest, the mess always held me back. It seemed like a process, and being that I don’t have a gourmet kitchen (as featured in aforementioned publications), the task of making homemade pasta seemed daunting. Then came the KitchenAid pasta maker attachment. Then the subtle hints of making handmade pasta became even more obvious. Then, one (boring) day, shortly after Thanksgiving, I broke down and finally made the butternut squash ravioli I had been dreaming up and here’s what I learned.

  1. Making homemade pasta is a mess, but it’s also a fun process. There’s no getting around it, you’re going to get your hands dirty. Of course, I was prepared to use my KitchenAid’s dough hook, but let’s just say I didn’t have beginner’s luck. I ended up hand-mixing it and forming the dough into a ball where it sat and hung out for a few hours. This gave me time to clean up that mess and prepare myself for the next step, rolling the dough.
  2. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fun. At first, learning how to use the pasta roller wasn’t easy. Then, after a few tries, you get the hang of it. It’s almost therapeutic!
  3. Don’t use cornmeal on your pasta dough until you’re done cutting your ravioli. After rolling the pasta sheets, I was eager to sprinkle cornmeal on the dough, to prevent the sheets from sticking to one another, however, that trick was proven to be wasteful with excess dough (after the ravioli was formed and pressed).
  4. Get creative with your ravioli filling. I made a butternut squash & ricotta ravioli topped with brown butter garlic, baby Portobello mushrooms, and scallions. The dish preparation was cut in half because I had leftover butternut squash puree from Thanksgiving. It’s pasta (dough) filled with whatever you desire, have fun with it!
  5. You can really taste the difference. Store bought pasta doesn’t hold a light to scratch pasta. Sure, you can have your favorites (we all do), but homemade is the real deal. If you’re looking to impress your guests or take your dinner up a notch, this is what your dinner table has been missing.

Don’t know where to start with making homemade pasta? Don’t worry, Roma’s carries everything from pasta makers (imported from Italy) to Double 0 pasta flour! Simply ask the next time you’re in!

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Thanksgiving: Two Weeks Out

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Okay, there’s no secret that we love the holiday season. Not just because we love to cook and that the foundation of most (holidays) are pieced together by tradition and classic family recipes— but we are also family people. Simply put, the holidays bring us together. While this is exciting, it can also be stressful as these moments are often fleeting, and we all want to ensure that the day is perfection. You don’t get into Julliard on a solo audition, well, maybe if you’re really good, but for everyone else (including us), we must practice.

Alright, since you’re reading this, we will assume you’re hosting. First off, congratulations, Thanksgiving kicks off everything else, so it’s kind of a big deal. Now, let’s take physical and mental inventory. Ask yourself these questions below:

  • How many people are coming?
    • Do you have enough:
      • Main / side plates
      • Silverware
      • Drinkware
      • Seating
      • Tablespace
    • Does anyone have any dietary restrictions?
  • Envision the items
    • What are you making? What are others bringing? Run through the list of every item, including beverages (non/alcoholic), that will be available on T-Day.
    • Don’t end up shorthanded! Run through your spread and mentally place each item in its own serving dish, on perhaps a hot plate, with its serving utensil— do you have enough to accommodate yours and anyone who may have forgotten to bring one for their dish?
  • Prep ahead!
    • What can you do now to help avoid last minute stress? Purchase your non-perishable items ahead of time.
      • Items such as, canned goods, potatoes, ice, and décor.
    • Rehearse
      • We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that you don’t eat holiday side dishes on the regular, which means you might want to practice making them. This will also give you enough time to research and test recipes if you don’t love how it came out the first time.
    • Don’t forget about dessert
      • Thanksgiving is all about the bird, but there’s a start, middle, and end of the meal that must be also addressed. Our advice is to delegate appetizers and desserts OR outsource them (check out our catering menu here). If you’re focus is on the main / sides, let it be your focus.
      • Even if you’re not making the pie(s), you are responsible for coffee and tea. That means, ensure you have enough cream, sugar, stirrers, and cups to satisfy your sleepy (and full!) guests.

Good luck and feel rest assured knowing that a successful Thanksgiving is all in the prep work. Also, if you need a hand, Roma’s offers the full Thanksgiving dinner (we’re accepting orders through November 19th!).

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EVOO or the Other Stuff?

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We live in a world with abundant choices. Perhaps, too many. The same goes for olive oil. There’s so many different brands, with different labels, and then there’s the decision of Extra Virgin or Regular. What does it all mean? Isn’t olive oil, olive oil? No. Not for this one. We’re firm believers that the type of olive oil you use can make or break a meal.

The first thing you should know is that are there two major differences in olive oil: refined and unrefined, or in other words: “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” and “Regular Olive Oil”. One of the first things you may notice about the two is the color. EVOO (refined) is noticeably darker whereas Olive Oil (unrefined) is lighter. Why is that? It’s because EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and is treated to remove impurities, and the regular olive oil is a blend, including both processed and cold-pressed oils, and is left unrefined. What’s pressed in the bottle, stays in the bottle. What about all that “good stuff” that olive oil contains? In the process of refining the EVOO, some of those healthy antioxidants are removed, that’s why it’s best to always have a bottle of each in your kitchen.

So, what to cook with? It’s about preference. Experts say to have both versions in hand when cooking as you may not taste the richness of EVOO in the prepared meal, and to use the better stuff to finish dishes or to use as dips. However, yet again, it’s personal preference. We’ve cooked with both, we enjoy both. We enjoy the food prepared with EVOO just a little bit more.

Tell us: which type of olive oil do you cook with?

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Thanksgiving 2017

We are now accepting your Thanksgiving orders now through November 19th! Please call our Latham location to place your order at 518-785-7480.

Roma Thanksgiving FB 10-17-17-01

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The Unexpected Comfort Meal, You Can’t Stop Craving

While we been having unseasonably warm weather (we’re not complaining!), the chilly fall air is starting to creep into our evenings. Embrace our delayed, and beloved, season with this unexpected comfort meal created by ingredients in our shop! Enjoy!

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What You’ll Need:

Makes two .

Couscous preparation (plain):

– 1 c. Israeli Pearl Couscous

– 1.5 c. water

– 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

– Salt (for water)

Couscous “toppings”:

– 5 thick pieces of Asparagus, sliced (5 cuts per piece)

– 4 cloves of garlic, sliced

– ½ large yellow onion, diced

– 8-10 (assorted sizes) baby Portobello mushrooms, quartered

– Salt, to taste

– Pepper, to taste

– Garlic powder, to taste,

– Red chili pepper flakes, to taste

– Extra virgin olive oil

– Block aged Parmigiano Reggiano

– 2 eggs

 

Directions:

  • Heat large skillet to medium, coat with EVOO. Once to temperature, add: sliced asparagus, diced onion, quartered mushrooms.
  • After about 5 minutes, add sliced garlic. Add salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Let cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are browned and onions are caramelized (20 minutes, drop heat to low once vegetables start to brown).
  • Once your vegetables are browned, turn the skillet to low or off. In a sauce pan, add water, EVOO and salt. Bring water to boil. Add in couscous. Drop to low and cover pan. Stirring occasionally, until all water is absorbed. It will take about 10 minutes.
  • In another sauce pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, prepare two eggs to be poached. *An easy way to do this is by taking a small glass ramekin, and placing a sheet of plastic wrap over it; slighting dipping in the middle of the ramekin. Crack egg into the dip you created, and fold over plastic sheet sides— so that entire raw egg is covered. Take two plastic ends and tie in middle. Be careful not to break the yoke. Once the water comes to a boil, carefully drop each egg into the water, and swirl the water with a wooden spoon (never touching the eggs). Turn off, and cover. Set timer for 7 minutes. for a runny egg yoke and 9 minutes for a soft poach.
  • While your eggs are poaching, turn the skillet with the vegetables back on to low. Add in cooked couscous, mix thoroughly. Add in more salt, pepper, garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes and EVOO to taste. Plate couscous mixture into two equal serving bowls. Grate aged Parmigiano Reggiano over couscous.
  • Carefully remove poached eggs in plastic wrap from hot water, this will be very hot. Use a slotted spoon and place the plastic wrap egg onto a plate with a paper towel on it (to absorb some water), as you don’t want water in your couscous. Cut plastic wrap with kitchen shears to avoid getting burned. Carefully pat away any excess water and place poached egg onto couscous mixture with spoon. Drizzle EVOO and finish with fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

 

 

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Roma’s 71st Anniversary Sale

It’s the sale you’ve been waiting all year for— our 71st Anniversary Sale! Join us in-store from September 28th through Columbus Day (October 9th) for exclusive savings on specialty goods that you’ll only find at Roma’s! We like to think of our annual sale as a small thank you for your loyal support and patronage for over seven decades.

Roma 71st Sale Flyer

Grilled Italian Meatball Burgers

frank's Grilled Italian Meatball Burgers

 

By: Frank Bolognino

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ c seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ lb. Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • ¾ c shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 8 Kaiser rolls, split
  • 1 c roasted garlic Parmesan spaghetti sauce, heated

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl
  • Crumble beef and sausage into the bowl and mix well, shaping into burgers
  • Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and coat your grill rack
  • Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side (thermometer should read 165 and juices should run clear)
  • Sprinkle burgers with cheese, cover the grill, and let cheese melt (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Remove and keep warm until ready to serve— serve on toasted Kaiser rolls with warm sauce.

 

Note from the author: Grilling or broiling the rolls just before you’re ready to eat is highly recommended!

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