12 July 2010

Sweet Memories of Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce


Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce


Here it is the Labour Day long weekend. The kidlets are coming for a few days from Vancouver and I am in cooking mode. In the meantime, if you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that a while ago I started a feature to highlight Canadian Chefs. Through your TV networks, or perhaps on other blogs, or even just right here on More Than Burnt Toast you may have heard of some of our Canadian chefs. For those of you who haven't, I hope you will find it interesting to see what our chefs are up to, a little about their history and how they came to love what they do. There will be some chefs you have heard of and adore and some lesser known who are "up and coming". Some are not even chefs at all, but just Canadians who are passionate about what they do!!For the past year I have been featuring one of our Canadian chefs periodically and will continue to do so. As the sixteenth installment in my Canadian Chef series I introduce you to:



Anthony Sedlak

Anthony Sedlak is a Canadian chef, and the host of Food Network Canada's The Main. He received that coveted position by being one of six participants selected to compete in Food Network’s Superstar Chef Challenge. Anthony was a natural in front of the camera as well as in the kitchen, and he won the competition, later authoring a best-selling companion cookbook. Anthony says in an interview with Gremolata , "The book is unique in that it follows the premise of the show, which is one main ingredient – simple stuff, not over the head of anybody. It's really to give the reader a chance to be creative with the things they already have. It's a collection of recipes from all for seasons of the main, and has incredible photography, which I think is so elemental to a great cookbook. It's about how to find fresh ingredients, store them, I talk about seasonality and then I add my little tips and tricks of the trade, that I write for each recipe. There's also the inspiration where each recipe came from - these aren’t just any recipes, they're things that are really close to my heart, like things my grandmother made."

Interestingly enough he was born in Prince George, British Columbia which is where L'il Burnt Toast's significant other grew up. Anthony moved to North Vancouver with his family and grew up at the foot of Grouse Mountain. At the age of 13 he obtained his first job as a busboy at Lupins CafĂ©, which is one of the restaurants atop Grouse Mountain, in exchange for a snowboard pass to the resort. Very quickly Anthony discovered his love for food and started working as a line cook thoughout his teen years becoming proficient on all stations in the restaurant. Following the advice of Sylvain Cuerrier, the executive chef for Grouse Mountain, 20-year-old Anthony joined the team at La Trompette restaurant in West London where he worked under Chef Olivier Couillaud. With the experience and knowledge gained at La Trompette Sedlak returned to Grouse Mountain Resorts where he was offered the position of sous-chef at The Observatory working his way up toChef de Partie, all the while completing the Culinary Arts Program at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver. Later, he completed his BC Chefs’ Apprenticeship through Vancouver Community College.

At 22, the same age as my daughter, Anthony was selected as Canada's representative for the 2006 Hans Bueschken World Junior Chef Challenge in Auckland, Australia where he came away with a silver medal.

What I like about Anthony Sedlak’s cooking is that his dish looks elegant yet his recipes are simple to execute. It shows again that you don't need lots of time and kitchen helpers to impress your guests or your family.  Other recipes include Warm Apple Compote with Calvados and Golden Raisins, Signature Chili, Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Puttanesca Sauce , and Tri Tip Steak with the World’s Best Scalloped Potatoes, Asparagus and Herbed Butter .I read that lately Anthony has taken up cycling, just look how slimmed down and sinewy he is in the above photo. Way to go Anthony on your healthy lifestyle.

The dish I have chosen is simple as well as comforting. The colour and boost of flavour from the heirloom tomatoes makes an every day pasta dish into a WOW pasta dish!!! While the Eastern provinces are still experiencing summer we seem to have moved over to autumn and all it has to offer (at least the day I baked this dish) in an abundance of garden fresh produce, crisp, pant-wearing, sock-wearing weather. With shorter days we embrace some comforting oven baked pasta!!

I have been blogging for 3 years now and I continue to blog because of the sense of community and all the fantastic recipes we share with each other. I am also a firm believer that we learn at least one new thing a day. So far this week I have learned about Pink Fir Apple Potatoes from David Hall in his Warm Potato, Bacon, Leek and Caper Salad . I learned about a Chicago classic of Melrose Peppers a favourite of the Italian community  from Marie at Proud Italian Cook. I heard for the first time about Pear Flognarde the French cousin of Clafouti from Mary at One Perfect Bite, and I found out how to fillet and pin bone a whole salmon from Elizabeth at The Guilty Kitchen. What have you learned today?

On to the dish....I added a little oregano and grated Parmesan cheese to the fresh ricotta before dolloping. My only change besides slicing the tomatoes on top for a pretty presentation. Bon Appetito!!!


**Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce**
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 x basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped yellow or orange tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt
  • 1 x 500 gram bag rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup black olives, finely chopped
  • 1  heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (add a little dried oregano and freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you wish)
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 2  fresh basil leaves, torn
In a large wide sided pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Add basil and pepper, and let basil fry lightly in oil, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, and allow to cook down, 10-15 minutes, or until tomatoes start to break down. The oil and tomato juice will emulsify to make a sauce.

Crush tomatoes slightly, and season with salt. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions. Remove from water when slightly undercooked, as the pasta will continue to cook when baked.

Add drained pasta to tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Add Parmesan cheese and half of the olives. Stir to combine. Transfer pasta mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish.

Alternate heirloom tomato wedges and dollops of ricotta evenly on pasta. Sprinkle with remaining black olives. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crusty on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.
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44 comments:

  1. Such a pretty dish. I love all of those tomatoes.

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  2. Dear Vall I love Canadian Chefs are awesome, specially love Anna Olson, love her recipes, and this pasta recipe look yummy! x gloria

    Love the pictures!

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  3. So colorful and yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. i'm enjoying the series. good stuff. tell that hottie to make a move on your daughter!

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  5. That looks like a delicious pasta dish, and it sounds like you're having fun!

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  6. I loved your post today. Your pasta looks wonderfully colorful and because it comes from your kitchen I know it's good. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  7. That is one fine specimen of a man. I mean chef. I mean. He can come cook for me anytime!

    And that pasta bake looks fantastic as well. In fact, the two go very well together as they are both gorgeous and delicious!

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  8. hellooooo, anthony! quite a catch, that one, :)
    awesome bake, val--it's chock-full of cheesy tomato goodness.

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  9. One of my favorite things about blogging is the new things I learn everyday...along with the people I meet! This dish sounds comforting and delicious...and so does that Anthony ;)

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  10. Yum! (That's to both the pasta AND the chef.)

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  11. It's definitely heirloom tomato season at my local farmer's market. I got some for $1 last week! And although it's never hard to find a use for them, I always enjoy new recipes that make the most of these summer treasures.

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  12. Sounds like yummy! thanks a lot for sharing.

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  13. Thanks for highlighting some of the talented Canadian chefs you have in your beautiful country...the pasta bake with late season heirloom tomatoes looks amazing Val.

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  14. I'd certainly watch Anthony Sedlak...he's very easy on the eyes and this is one very nice recipe. I especially like the fresh tomatoes (vs canned).

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  15. Love the colorful tomatoes. And yes our Canadian chefs are impressive and great to watch.

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  16. Great post, Val. This is a wonderful way to use the abundance of tomatoes that is coming out of the garden.

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  17. What a fantastic post! I don't even know what I love more...you celebrating Canadian Chefs - and I do love Anthony - his shows and his book The Main...or your unbelieveably gorgeous Pasta Bake. It's a bazillion degrees here on the east coast, but I'm bookmarking this one for the first chilly day...will it ever happen?

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

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  18. Really nice post, Val. I love reading about talented Canadian chefs...and this one is easy on the eyes, too. :) (you're never too old to look, right?)
    The heirloom tomatoes are perfect right now and this healthy dish is right up my alley.

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  19. I cannot decide which one I prefer more the chef or the dish. I'll take them both. Seriously, the pasta looks exquisite.

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  20. Now this recipe takes a pasta bake to a whole other level. Love those colorful heirloom tomatoes in this recipe. Is it just me or is chef Anthony very, very cute :)

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  21. The pasta bake sounds so good with the delicious heirloom tomatoes!

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  22. What a great way to showcase tomatoes

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  23. What a scrumptiously comforting, creamy dish, Val! :-) I love the fresh tomatoes - that would totally make it for me. :-)

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  24. A very thoughtful and informative piece of writing. I love that you are doing this. I had no idea that he came from BC - or, really, did not know anything about him except he has sex appeal on TV. Great information - and I appreciate the links to his recipes. A wonderful welcome home meal to the kids. I am just heading out to the market this early morning and wishing mine could be here with me this weekend, too. I am also in the cooking mode - but, I might get some fall preserving done this weekend. I feel an itch!
    :)
    Valerie

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  25. Lovely pasta dish, it's filled with so many wonderful ingredients! love it!

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  26. I love a baked pasta dish with a healthy dose of cheese on top! Great series! It's nice to get to know chefs beyond those on Food TV.

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  27. It's great dishes like this one that keep me blogging. I'm with you, we learn something new every day.

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  28. Those tomatoes looks so gorgeous.. Nice recipe!.. Thanx for sharing valli.

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  29. This sounds perfect for this time of year. I'm still getting some ripe tomatoes... But it's cool enough at night to turn the oven on.

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  30. Oh my gosh, I saw your photo when scrolling through my reader and just had to STOP and write to you and leave a comment. This looks like the perfect veggie, cheesy, comfort dish. I want to eat this right now or as soon as I make it! WOW!

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  31. I'm really wishing we could get the Canadian version of FN here as well! I'd love to see Chef Anthony's program.

    I adore heirloom tomatoes and I'm always sad to see the tomato season come to an end. Great past dish! Just beautiful!

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  32. I just found your blog and I love it!
    Thanks for sharing!
    gabriele

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  33. You have truly created a blog that is the epitomy of community and sharing - I love all your challenges and blogosphere parties that link to so many other wonderful foodies. I'm all about mains that are simple yet elegant and the pasta tomato bake is as gorgeous!

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  34. This pasta sounds so great with the fresh ricotta and heirloom tomatoes! It's great to learn about chefs too. Looking forward to learning about more of them!

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  35. You made a beautiful dish. You're lucky to have such wonderful food celebs in Canada!

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  36. What a gorgeous looking man. And he cooks too? I wonder who the lucky lady is! :-)

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  37. Val...this reminds me that I don't make these baked pasta dishes enough. Love how you re-vamped the recipe with extra cheese ;o)

    Canadian chefs are fortunate to have you feature their amazing talent. You, too are a Canadian chef in your own very special way ;o)

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  38. What a great dish and wonderful post. looking frward to more of your dishes.

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  39. Such a lovely and uncomplicated dish. I do watch Anthony's show and love the way he just makes it fun and easy. Thanks for the bio about him - he was a feature at the Food & Wine show here last year.

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  40. Good lookin' and a great dish? I'm in!

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  41. This looks like a really amazing dish, Val. I love all the ingredients, but the tomatoes--especially heirloom--really seal the deal. How delicious!

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  42. Looks wonderful; I haven't been home but looking forward to getting back to my Food Channel for a new fall season.

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  43. Wonderful post and lovely dish...perfect for coming Fall Season :)

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  44. this looks lovely valli - the fact that autumn is in the air and my homegrown tomatoes are finally starting to ripen puts it on my "to try" list!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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