MY FAVORITE PEOPLE, MY FAVORITE RECIPES: Chloe Coscarelli
“She’s bright, stunningly beautiful, sweet, brilliant and forgiving,” says Alyssa Fasciano. She is Chloe Coscarelli, vegan winner of Food Networks’ Cupcake Wars, bestselling cookbook author, rockstar chef, animal rights activist and all-around adorable person. I confess I didn’t believe the Coscarelli hype. I mean, who could be that wonderful and be everywhere all at once? And Coscarelli is these days, in Glamour, Shape and VegNews, in California for a PETA event, on the Hallmark Channel and now in Miami, where we connected for the opening of Chef Chloe and the Vegan Cafe at St. Roch Market.
It turns out Coscarelli is bright, stunningly beautiful, sweet, brilliant and forgiving, and human as well. Fasciano, a longtime Coscarelli team member and the cafe’s general manager, saw Coscarelli through a difficult 2017. But when life gives you lemons, Coscarelli makes pink-frosted lemon blackberry cupcakes (check out her recipe in the spring issue of VegNews).
“No matter the industry, there are challenges that come along with taking risks and putting your heart and soul into your work,” Coscarelli says. “The thing that keeps me going is remembering my greater mission and all the animals’ lives that would be at stake if I gave up.”
Making mistakes whether it’s business choices or recipe development “is an important part of the process,”Coscarelli says. “Lots of trial and error until I feel it’s truly excellent.” Truly excellent seems to be the universal verdict of her fourth cookbook Chloe Flavor. Brand new and already a bestseller, Chloe Flavor offers over 125 vibrant, vegan recipes like breakfast cookies, crammed with energizing superfoods like oats, almonds, coconuts and dates and beet fettuccine with basil ricotta.
Lest the pasta recipe sound like another adorable pink Coscarelli creation — “I do love pink,” she sighs — it has its roots in traditional Italian cuisine. So does Coscarelli.“I come from an Italian and Jewish background so cooking food in massive quantities is my normal,” she says. “My biggest fear in life is not making enough food.”
Look for my review of Chef Chloe and the Vegan Cafe in the upcoming issue of VegNews. Spoiler alert — it’s a winner. So is Coscarelli.
Beet Fettuccine Alfredo With Basil RicottaRecipe from Chloe Flavor by Chloe Coscarelli, copyright 2018, used with permission from Clarkson Potter. Make-Ahead Tip: The sauce can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta
Ingredients for Beet Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 16-ounce package silken tofu
- About 2 medium 3 ounces roasted beets
- ½ cup water plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- Basil Ricotta recipe follows
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegan Parmesan recipe follows
- Chopped fresh basil
Ingredients for Basil Ricotta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped fresh basil
Ingredients for Vegan Parmesan
- ½ cup blanched almonds or pecans
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or agave nectar
Beet Fettuccine Alfredo
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, off the heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- In a blender, combine the onion and garlic mixture, tofu, beets, water, lemon juice, and salt. Blend on high speed for about 2 minutes, until very smooth.
- Toss the pasta with the desired amount of sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Portion onto plates and top with the Basil Ricotta, pepper, Vegan Parmesan, and basil.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened.
- Transfer the onion to a food processor. Add the garlic, tofu, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pulse in the basil until well incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- In a food processor, combine the nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Pulse until a fine meal forms. Drizzle in the maple syrup and pulse again until incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. (I use it straight from frozen; it thaws within seconds thanks to its fine texture!)
Roasted Beets Tip
- To roast beets, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and scrub the beets and pierce them all over with a fork. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap loosely in aluminum foil.
- Bake for about 1 ½ hours, or until fork-tender. Let cool completely, then trim, peel and measure out the amount of roasted beet needed for your recipe.