Kelp Pasta- We love carbs!
In the kitchen with Executive Chef, Mass Maritime Academy, Jim Wirzburger
Photo Credit UMass Dartmouth Dining, Marketing Director, Kirby Roberts
Written By: Marketing Manager Intern, UMass Dartmouth-Kendall, Michaella Lesieur
Kelp fettuccine is one of Wirzburger’s specialties and is just one of the ways he incorporates this sea vegetable into his cooking. “(Kelp) It’s good for you and the more that we harvest the better it is for the environment. This is also great for fisherman and lobsterman because you can do it in the off season,” said Wirzburger in a one on one interview.
Kelp fettuccine is one of Wirzburger’s specialities and is just one of the ways he incorporates this sea vegetable into his cooking. “(Kelp) it’s good for you and the more that we harvest the better it is for the environment. This is also great for fisherman and lobsterman because you can do it in the off season,” said Wirzburger in a one on one interview.
The dish has become a staple and has been a crowd pleaser for the academy, they even served it at a trustee's event. “I have done it a couple of times. I make a kelp fettuccine with shrimp and broccoli. I put the kelp puree in the pasta which adds nutrition,” said Wirzburger. “It’s fun to make the pasta and I put about 6oz into each batch. I also made the pasta with pan seared hake as a ragu for a trustee's dinner.”
If looking to improvise the pasta dish you can substitute the shrimp or fish for chicken for a chicken broccoli fettuccine, which still incorporates the benefits of the kelp pasta. One of the benefits of this dish and working with kelp is that it can be made to please every type of palette.
Kelp can also be incorporated into other homemade pastas such as spaghetti, bowtie, linguine and more. Just add the kelp ingredient to your favorite pasta recipes or shape and you are good to go. It is a dish everyone will enjoy.
This was not an overnight dream but rather a spur of the moment idea for Wirzburger. “The pasta recipe just came to me. I had the idea when I was making pasta and thought about adding seafood to it as well and marrying the two together,” he said proudly. “A lot of Asian communities use it and incorporate kelp into teas and etc. I also use it in my soup stocks.”
Kelp can easily be added to soup bases and adds a great extra nutrient to your soups making it not so average. One of our favorites is using kelp in matzo soup it gives it a little something extra to this simmering comfort food.
Wirzburger definitely has our mouths watering but pasta and soup is not the only way this chef uses kelp at the academy. “We add it to smoothies such as in our raspberry and banana one. It is not a dominant flavor, we rather use it as an ingredient and ingest it into our recipes,” he said.
When looking to the future he hopes to raise awareness of kelp and incorporate it into different recipes. “I want to increase the amount of kelp that I am using and to have it be unique to Mass Maritime Academy and create signature dishes to increase volume,” said Wirzburger. “I am currently working to incorporate it into ice pops.”
With that being said next time you are planning on having pasta for dinner make it a point to add kelp to your dish it will be sure to not disappoint.