A recipe to celebrate National Volunteer Week: Classic Canadian Pasta
Not a single industry is untouched by this pandemic. And buying local has never been so important – to support small family businesses. By purchasing local ingredients from farmers and processors and eating at local establishments, you strengthen Canada’s food supply chain. You can make a real difference in your neighbours’ lives and perhaps make new friends along the way, too.
On the occasion of National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, 2021, Farmwork to Feed Canada proudly celebrates the distinct and invaluable talents of its volunteers. This year’s theme is “The Value of One – The Power of Many.”
This recipe for a classic Canadian pasta meal combines many flavours and textures to power a delightfully tasty, nutritious, and affordable dish, a hearty family favourite.
Make up a large pot of sauce and freeze what you don’t use.
Serves: 3 to 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
- Tomato base
- Try Unico or Primo products. They are Canadian companies that source their tomatoes from Canadian farmers and greenhouse operators.
- 680 ml tomato sauce
- 156 ml tomato paste
- 796 ml whole tomatoes (no salt)
- One tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Meat 500 grams (approximately four to five links of fresh local Canadian pork mild Italian sausage, casings removed) from your local supermarket or butcher.
250 g Canadian-made lean Kielbasa sausage. A great option is Beach Road Kielbasa. But Kielbasa sausage can be found in grocery stores and delicatessens across the country. A popular brand, Pillers is crafted in Canada. Sikorski’s award-winning village sausage is a tasty substitute.
- One 341 ml bottle of your favorite pilsner-style craft beer. Steam Whistle’s Premium Pilsner is easy to find across Canada and won’t dominate the sauce’s flavour.
- One medium yellow zucchini
- One large yellow onion
- Two stalks celery
- One small green bell pepper
- One small red bell pepper
- 10-12 medium sliced white mushrooms (approx. 2 x 227 gram trays)
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Pasta noodles – Pasta produced with Canadian durum wheat like ItalPasta is found in many large Canadian grocery chains. They feature 27 different types of traditional pasta from alphabet to ziti. One of my favourite types of pasta is penne rigate because its fine ridges are delightful ‘favour ledges’ where sauce clings. ItalPasta offers a healthy whole grain option.
- In a large pot, mix the tomato base, whole tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Chop the Kielbasa into fork-sized pieces and add to the base.
- Chop the onions, peppers, zucchini and celery and add to your pot of simmering liquid.
- Crumble and brown the Italian sausage, casing removed. Drain and add to the liquid.
- Add the craft beer.
- Add the spices. Stir well.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for three hours, stirring frequently.
- When the sauce is ready, add your pasta to a large pot of boiling water. Cook until al dente.
Freshly grated Canadian parmesan (for example Saputo parmesan cheese) is available in grocery chains across Canada. Costco has a parmesan cheese petals product that adds flavour, nutrition, and flair as a garnish. Serve the sauce with a garnish of fresh basil sprigs.
Add a garden salad and a fresh whole grain baguette.