January 2023 Honorable Mention Recipe

Foodies, fanatics and friends of the Bella Sun Luci family,

Our Honorable Mention Recipe for this month, submitted by Chef-Contestant Jim Bradley, is an excellent example of what we look for when we choose, cook, judge and award our recipe contest's money winners, and our monthly premium gift box winners.

Chef Jim used two different Bella Sun Luci products. We encourage you to do the same, or use and mention by name even MORE THAN TWO of our products, if you really want to catch our attention.

For example, we keep hoping someone will submit an osso buco or other stick-to-your-ribs recipe that uses our olive oil in the soffrito, our sun dried tomatoes plus maybe our Tomato-Artichoke Pasta Sauce in the "gravy", and our Sun Dried Tomato-Wild Mushroom risotto mix as the side to the center of the plate protein. Hint-hint. Capeesh?!

Chef Jim's recipe is, I'm sure, an original and unique composition of elements. He showcases our products, meaning the dish pops with Bella flavor, and by adding our Sun Dried Tomato Chipotle Topper Sauce to the rest of the (very Italian) ingredients, Chef Jim has playfully married the flavors of two cultures.

Chef Jim suggested rigatoni, penne or ziti pasta for his creation. First, I think...let me know if you know...that ziti is the East Coast and penne is the West Coast way to say the same actual pasta shape. One day, when we have a few hours or days or probably weeks to kill, I'll parlare con voi...talk to you...about penne and ziti "rigate" and the significance of the names and shapes of all the pastas. Like this: linguine was originally called 'lingua di passaro'...the tongue of the sparrow, because it IS the same shape. 

But for now, for this recipe, I used rigatoni because I wanted the little pieces of mushroom and all of the many flavors that come together in a whole greater than the sum of its parts, to find their way INSIDE the pasta. Rigatoni was an easy choice also because it's one of the typical pastas used in Rome, my favorite city, and in my favorite pasta there, La Carbonara.

So you see, there is much more to a dish than meets the eye. I hope that you all submit dishes like Jim's that inspire cities and countrysides and youth and romance and the way a certain pasta shape feels in your mouth and the way that feeling married with the flavor and euphoria of the sip of red wine that you were drinking and memories of friends and family gathered around the table, talking, laughing and sharing La Bella Vita.

Congratulations and a big BRAVO! to Chef Jim Bradley, and enjoy the gift box's treasures chef!

I hope to see lots of new and creative recipes come across my desk soon, from you all...miei amici...my friends!

Cook, eat and share all of the pleasures of the table with friends, family and the passion we all deserve, and need, on this magical journey.

Con amore,

Chef Richie

Chef Richie

About Chef Richie

As corporate chef for Bella Sun Luci, Richard "Chef Richie" Hirshen, whose culinary career spans more than 30 years, plays an instrumental role in product development, recipe creation, and cooking demonstrations.

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