Laura Davidson pursued her culinary dreams and now shares her recipes and food photography with us through her blog A Beautiful Plate. In her pantry, pasta is a staple!

  1. We love that you have a whole section of your blog dedicated to “Pastas, Risottos and Grains.” Why is pasta a staple in your pantry?
    • My mom is Italian, so pasta has always been a staple in our pantry. In fact, I think I survived on plain pasta with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the first ten years of my life. Pasta is my ultimate comfort food, but also lends itself to so many different creations – prepared for an elegant dinner or an everyday casual weeknight meal. You’ll never find my pantry without it!
  2. Your meals are so colorful! Especially your Spaghettini with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs What is your favorite summer ingredient to pair with pasta?
    • Thank you so much! I love the variety of fresh produce during the summer months, and often seek inspiration from whatever is available at the farmer’s market each week. It sounds basic, but there is nothing better than homemade pesto made from fresh summer basil. I also love to take advantage of tomato season and prepare easy sauces with roasted or fresh tomatoes (pasta al pomodoro, etc.).
  3. Any tips for shopping for fresh seasonal ingredients while staying on a budget?
    • Seasonal produce can sometimes be expensive, but I like to look at the extra cost differently. Not only is the produce so much fresher, I feel great supporting local farmers and reducing my carbon footprint. Look for second bins, which often contain lower priced fruits or veggies that have minor bruises or blemishes – they’ll often be priced significantly lower. Another way to shop for seasonal ingredients while staying on a budget is to look into joining a local CSA or a service like Imperfect Produce (available in select cities), which offers great prices on local, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Most importantly, be sure to prep and store it properly – it will eliminate any potential food waste!
  4. What are your ideas for a successful week of healthy eating? 
    • Eating healthier during the week is so much easier if you take the time to meal prep (here’s a list of 7 weeknight meals with accompanying grocery list!) and fill your fridge (and pantry) with healthy, easy-to-grab options. Prep lettuce, roast a batch of vegetables for easy snacking, wash and chop up fruit, etc. If you’re in a rush or starving, it’s really easy to make unhealthy choices for the sake of convenience.
  5. Finally, what is your favorite pasta recipe?

Bio: I’m Laura Davidson from A Beautiful Plate! Cooking, trying new ingredients, and experimenting in the kitchen excites me more than anything else. I grew up cooking with my mom, grandmothers, and sisters. Spending time in the kitchen inspires me, challenges me, and quite simply, makes me happy. Sharing my passion for cooking – and inspiring others in the kitchen – is what makes me tick. Most importantly, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit this site, read my ramblings, and maybe even try one of my recipes! It means the world to me and I wouldn’t be here without you.

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