Displaying items by tag: pasta and rice


Anne Sorrenti, chef from Morgans on the Danforth, made garlic pizza, which inspired this garlic-infused pasta dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 35 minutes

Serves: 4



1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, about 12 to 14

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

¼ cup olive oil

4 basil leaves, slivered

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Roasted garlic: 1 head garlic divided into cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil

500 grams (1 pound) linguine

½ teaspoon chili flakes

1 ball Buffalo Mozzarella, torn in pieces




Slice cherry tomatoes in half and toss with chopped garlic, olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 1 hour.

Divide head of garlic into cloves. Place in small pot of water. Bring to boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Drain and slip garlic out of skins.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Stir in blanched garlic. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Cook garlic about 10 minutes or until it turns golden brown, shaking pan and turning cloves occasionally. Remove from heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add linguine. Boil 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Return linguine to cooking pot over low heat. Toss in cherry tomatoes and marinating oil, roasted garlic, chilies and pasta cooking water. Remove from heat and stir in Mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with extra oil.

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If you use stock base for this recipe, use half the amount of powder that is called for. (Otherwise it will be too salty.) This is my take on chef Nong Poonsukwattana's dipping sauce.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours, including cooling time
Serves: 6



1 3-pound (1.5-kilogram) chicken

Chicken stock or water to cover

4 slices ginger, smashed

2 green onions, smashed

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon sesame oil


2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

2 cups long grain rice (preferably Thai jasmine), rinsed

2½ cups chicken poaching liquid

Dipping sauce:

2 red Thai chilies, seeded

1 shallot, peeled, chopped

1/3 cup chopped ginger

3 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup reserved chicken stock

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon black bean sauce

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar



Place chicken in a large pot. Cover with stock or water. Stir in ginger, green onions and garlic. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and poach chicken for 30 to 35 minutes or until juices are clear. Remove chicken and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Reserve stock.

Cool chicken in water, drain and place on platter. Cut into 4 pieces and remove skin and bones. Brush chicken with sesame oil. Slice into small pieces.

Heat oil in heavy pot. Add ginger and garlic and shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add rice and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in liquid and bring to boil. Let boil for 2 minutes, reduce heat to low, cover pot and steam rice for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir and add salt, if needed.

Place all ingredients for dipping sauce in food processor and process until slightly chunky. Place in pot and bring to simmer. Simmer 2 minutes, cool. Serve with chicken.

Serve chicken on a large spoonful of rice. Serve soup on side. Drizzle dipping sauce over chicken. Serve rest of sauce separately.



For the poached chicken, look for punchy, tropical-fruit flavours on a lean frame that won’t weigh things down. Lively New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Australian semillon work nicely, as do riesling and gewurztraminer. - Beppi Crosariol

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This is an ideal dish for when it’s beastly outside. Because it uses ingredients that are usually on hand, you don’t have to leave home to make it.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes
Serves: Four



1 small head broccoli (about 4 cups)

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup chopped black olives (the number would depend on the size)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

8 anchovies, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup tablespoons dry white wine


8 ounces (250 grams) penne or other short pasta


Divide broccoli into small florets then cut each in half lengthwise, making one side flat. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add florets. Bring back to boil and boil 2 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water until cold.

Place a small pan on low heat and dry-toast breadcrumbs until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add olives. Reserve.

Heat oil in a skillet over low heat. Add garlic and gently fry until it just starts to colour, about one minute. Add parsley, anchovies and red pepper flakes crushing them with a wooden spoon. Fry another minute. Add white wine and simmer until it has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Toss in broccoli and stir well to coat.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain when al dente and toss pasta with prepared sauce adding a little pasta cooking water if too dry.

Garnish with toasted breadcrumbs and chopped olives.


Any dry Mediterranean white (preferably Italian) will dovetail with the summery flavours – even in the case of this bad-weather pasta. If you prefer red, look for a salty sangiovese di Romagna. Beppi Crosariol

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This traditional recipe is from Emilia-Romagna where butter is often used instead of olive oil. Use another short pasta such as orrechiette when garganelli (an egg pasta cut into a square then rolled from the tip into a tubular shape) is not available.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes
Serves: Four


8 ounces (250 grams) garganelli

1/3 cup butter

1 cup grated Parmigiano

1 cup chopped onion

3 ounces (90 grams) prosciutto, sliced

4 ounces (125 grams) frozen or fresh peas

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Drain when al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to cooking pot. Stir in half the butter and half of Parmigiano.

Place a skillet over medium heat, while pasta is cooking and add remaining butter. Add chopped onion and prosciutto. Sauté gently without allowing it to colour, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta water to cook peas. Simmer until peas are just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add pasta to skillet and stir together. Bring to the table with remaining Parmigiano, serve separately.


There’s nothing in Italy’s hallowed food region of Emilia-Romagna to rival the reputation of Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino from next-door Tuscany. In fact, Emilia-Romagna is home to one of the most maligned wines ever, lambrusco, a typically frothy, often sweet red popular during the disco era that went by such brand names as Riunite and Chiarli Castelvetro. If you can find a good, dry lambrusco (they exist now), try it with the garganelli. Beppi Crosariol

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If you can’t find ditali (a short-cut pasta tube rather like a half-size rigatoni), penne or small rigatoni work equally well. You can add garlic and chilies to the zucchini for a punchier flavour, although they were not used in the original recipe.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes
Serves: Four as an appetizer, two as a main course



2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

4 small zucchini or 2 large, sliced in rounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces (226 grams) ditali or rigatoni

1 cup soft ricotta

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano


Place a pan onto medium heat. Add oil, heat and then and onion, sautéing until softened, about 2 minutes. Toss zucchini with onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan.

Remove lid after about 15 minutes. Keep cooking until zucchini browns lightly and all the liquid has evaporated.

Place pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water. Cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss with zucchini and ricotta, lightly mashed with a fork. Add enough pasta cooking water to keep mixture moist and stir in half of the Parmigiano. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano and serve hot.

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Gnocchi are not always easy to make but this recipe works well. Adding the flour gently, and knowing when to stop, is the key. Serve with pesto or butter and sage sauce.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours 45 minutes including cooling time


2 russet potatoes, about 2 pounds (1 kilogram)

2 egg yolks, beaten

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 cups to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).

Prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake potatoes in oven for 1 hour or until soft. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh into a bowl. Leave potatoes uncovered until completely cool, about 1 hour.

Pass potatoes through potato ricer or food mill into a bowl.

Add egg yolks and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Lightly toss eggs with potatoes. Stir in 1 cup of flour with a fork. Different potatoes contain different amounts of water, so add remaining flour as needed.

Dough should have the consistency of soft modelling clay, and still feel tender. It should not be sticky. (Avoid kneading dough; it makes the gnocchi doughy and heavy.) Divide dough into 6 and roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch thick. Cut ropes into 1-inch-long dumplings on the diagonal.

Using your thumbs, gently push down on the pointed ends forming two indents.

Repeat with remaining dough. Arrange the finished gnocchi on a lightly floured cloth so that they are not touching. Let dry for 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi in batches and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with sauce.

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I convinced my friend, filmmaker and writer Gail Singer, to give me her go-to recipe for summer dinner parties. It’s a standout dish that allows you to change the vegetables. (Just be sure there is about 1 to 2 cups of each, cut in julienne or matchstick-size pieces.)

You can buy perilla leaves in Japanese or other Asian markets, or substitute a combination of basil and mint.

To serve: Some people like to pour the dressing into the bottom of their bowl and dip in the noodles and vegetables. Others toss the dressing with the noodles and vegetables before serving.


Prep time: 25 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



300 g (10 ounces) fresh or dried buckwheat soba noodles; 3 litres (12 cups) water


2 peeled mini cucumbers or 1/2 a large cucumber, cut in julienne

2 cups medium carrots, cut in julienne

1 red or yellow pepper, cut in julienne

1 cup daikon or regular radish, cut in julienne

6 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

Salt and freshly ground pepper


¼ cup Japanese soy sauce

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sesame oil

4 teaspoons wasabi powder, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 teaspoons sugar


2 large perilla leaves, sliced about 2 tablespoons (or 4 basil leaves and 4 mint leaves)

1 cup radish sprouts or other sprouts

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Bring water to boil. Submerge noodles, stir gently. Allow to simmer – 7 minutes for dried and 5 minutes for fresh. Check a noodle by taking a bite. There should be no resistance.

Strain through a sieve then rinse noodles thoroughly in cold water, tossing with your hands. Let sit on a dish towel to dry, then refrigerate.

Place vegetables on a pretty dish in separate piles.

Heat vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan. Divide egg mixture in half and make 2 small pancakes. Cook eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, as thinly as possible. Flip and allow to brown slightly. Cool and cut into strips.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss noodles in ¾ cup dressing. Scoop a portion of noodles onto the plate. Top with each of the individual vegetables and egg. Garnish with perilla and radish sprouts. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with remaining dressing if desired.

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A spectacular creamy summer lasagne. Use 2 bunches of spinach to replace Swiss chard if desired.

Serves 8 





2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 cup chopped onion 

2 cups diced zucchinis (1/4-inch dice) 

Salt and freshly ground pepper 

8 cups sliced mushrooms (about 500 grams) 

¼ cup chopped basil 

2 tablespoons oregano

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed 

1 cup shelled peas


1/3 cup butter 

1/3 cup flour 

4 cups milk 

2 cups ricotta cheese 

Pinch nutmeg



To finish: 

6 lasagne sheets 

½ cup Parmesan cheese




Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions and zucchini from pan. Add mushrooms, basil, oregano and salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Continue to cook until liquid nearly disappears. Add to zucchini and onions.


Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Remove from heat and drain, pressing to remove any excess liquid. Roughly chop. Add top vegetables along with uncooked peas. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.Add flour and stir together to form a roux. Cook over low heat, whisking, for about 2 minutes or until flour is cooked but not golden.

Add milk in a fast stream, whisking vigorously. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally until sauce thickens. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and whisk in ricotta and nutmeg.

Toassemble lasagne, spread ½ cup white sauce over bottom of a buttered 9 x 13-inch rectangle lasagne pan. Cut pasta sheet to fit baking dish and place over sauce. Generously cover pasta with more white sauce. Cover with a layer of vegetable mixture and another sheet of pasta. Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish (you should have 4 layers). The last layer will be a pasta sheet, covered with sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


Bakelasagne until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let lasagne to stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

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The beans and the healthy kale play counterpoint to the richness of the next course.

Servings: Two

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes


4 ounces (125 grams) orecchiette

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sliced garlic

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

2 cups slivered dinosaur kale (tough mid-rib and stem removed)


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add orecchiette. Boil for 9 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving some pasta water.Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat and add garlic slivers. Sauté for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add chickpeas and chili flakes.

Toss together for 1 minute to combine flavours. Add kale and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until kale is just wilted.Toss with pasta, adding a little pasta water (about a half cup) to thin out the sauce slightly.


You’ll want something crisp, light and slightly herbal to engage (if you’ll pardon the proposal pun) this pasta. Think verdicchio or soave from Italy or a sauvignon blanc from anywhere. - Beppi Crosariol

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Cut the chorizo, chicken and shrimp into about ½-inch or smaller pieces for this simplified version of paella. The taste is much more compact, as you get a piece of each ingredient in every bite. It also cuts down on the cooking time.

Servings: 4

Ready In: 55 minutes



½ teaspoon saffron

2¼ cups warm chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 chorizo sausage, chopped (about ¾ cup)

7 ounces (200 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

½ cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped canned or fresh tomatoes

½ teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika

¾ cup Spanish medium-grain rice or Italian Arborio

1 cup chopped raw shrimp

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper



4 6-ounce (175 g) halibut fillets

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon mild smoked Spanish paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Crumble saffron into warm chicken stock and set aside to soften.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chorizo and chicken and fry for 2 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Add garlic, onions, tomatoes and paprika. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened and juices are thick.

Stir in rice and add 2 cups of saffron stock. Bring to boil again. Reduce heat to low and let liquid simmer gently until rice is nearly cooked, about 15 minutes. Stir in shrimp and extra stock if the rice seems too dry. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until rice is tender, shrimp are cooked and sauce has practically cooked away.

While rice is cooking, season halibut with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle with oil and place in a baking dish, skin-side down, roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until white juices appear and fish is cooked through.

Stir parsley into paella and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve halibut with paella.

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