When we think of cooler temperatures and fall weather, we typically think of football, sweater weather, and plaid shirts. However, for foodies like me, fall weather means pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider donuts, and comfort food. By definition, comfort food is "food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high carbohydrate level or simple preparation." Pasta came to mind when I thought of the perfect fall comfort food. I was able to sit down with Jeff Church, the Lead Chef and Owner of Nipote's Italian Kitchen, to highlight a couple of their comfort dishes.
With over 20 subdivided regions in Italy, Jeff gets a lot of inspiration from Northern Italy. We had a lovely spread of comfort food dishes that are found on Nipote's weekly menu. Jeff suggested that we start with the Ribollita Soup, which consists of vegetables, beans, and bread. The bread soaks up the vegetable broth and just melts in your mouth. Instead of the Campbell's Chicken Soup, try the Ribollita soup.
Next, Jeff suggested we try the Penne Bolognese pasta. This pasta is the classic Italian-American pasta served with a hearty Pork and Beef Ragu sauce. For the last course, Jeff prepared the Mushroom Ravioli with a side of seared bistro steak and sautéed mushrooms. The ravioli is stuffed with a creamy goat cheese, which compliments the hearty steak and mushrooms nicely. Even though most of his dishes are based from Northern Italy, Jeff adds his own little flare and spin to the traditional dishes.
After consuming a hearty meal, make sure to finish the evening with a cannoli, tiramisu, or a scoop of gelato. I opted for an Aperol Spritz, which is an Italian wine-based cocktail, commonly served in Northern Italy. The cocktail consists of Aperol, Prosecco, and garnished with an orange wedge. Aperol is a bitter aperitif made of gentian, rhubarb, and is typically a vibrant orange hue. The Prosecco adds a little sweetness to the cocktail, so the bitterness of the Aperol levels out to be a refreshing cocktail.
Nipote's Italian Kitchen will be incorporating fall and autumn themed dishes into their rotating weekly features, so be sure to check them out on Facebook to discover your new favorite comfort dish.
Watch the full interview to discover what Nipote's means in Italian and to gaze upon these drool worthy dishes. Pay Nipote's a visit to get your comfort food fix!
Rachel McCoy, Guest Contributor to the Muskegon Channel, Mi Food Chronicles Blogger
Follow Rachel and her foodie adventures on the Mi Food Chronicles Blog at www.mifoodchronicles.com