How can something so satisfying also be good for you? The full flavour begins with a mirepoix that is gently sautéed until vegetables are very soft and almost caramelized. And the rich red tomatoes and tomato paste are excellent for heart-healthy eating. Double up the recipe and store extras in the freezer for a speedy mid-week supper.
Look for a red wine that is a little more acidic, such as a bottle of Chianti or a Pinot Noir. And if you’re really feeling flush and want to splurge or impress, crack open a bottle of aged Barolo.
This dish is excellent for vegan diets. Serve with an egg-free pasta or spoon ladles of the Bolognese over wedges of roasted butternut squash for extra yum!
In medium-sized saucepan, cover lentils with 3 cups (750 mL) cold water. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still have a bit of bite to them. Drain thoroughly and set aside when done.
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic; sauteu0301 until softened and vegetables begin to caramelize. Stir in tomato paste. Then add balsamic or red wine and stir to loosen any bits from bottom of saucepan. Add tomatoes and their juices, breaking up tomatoes with fork. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme, minced oregano, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes for flavours to blend. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Remove bay leaf and woody stems from thyme. Fold in cooked lentils and simmer until warmed through. Cover and set aside while cooking pasta.
Bring large saucepan with lightly salted water to a full boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well. Stir a little olive oil into pasta to prevent it from sticking.
To serve, spoon noodles into serving bowl. Add a ladle of Bolognese sauce and scatter with some minced basil and toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve with crushed chilies, if using.
This recipe is part of the Give a Little Love collection.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.