Friday Fix: Is World Pasta Day a Thing?
Friday Fix is a new weekly feature of all the things you need to know before heading into the weekend.
Calling all female entrepreneurs! BOLD by Veuve Clicquot is an initiative aimed at uplifting and amplifying bold female entrepreneurs. An evolution of their Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, the new BOLD Woman Awards are a tribute to tenacious and bold spirit of House founder, Madame Clicquot. Applications to nominate yourself, or a bold female entrepreneur you admire, are open until Dec. 21, 2020. Find out more here.
Did you know that October 25, 2020 is World Pasta Day? Well, now you do!
To celebrate the upcoming occasion, Chef Michael Hunter, author of newly released The Hunter Chef Cookbook and familiar face of Toronto’s Antler Kitchen & Bar, shared a pasta-based dish with Bay Street Bull: Acorn Squash and Sage Rotini Pasta.
The Hunter Chef Cookbook is based around using ingredients that can be fished, hunted or foraged—like acorn squash. For Chef Hunter, using the natural landscape for food has been a passion since he watched documentaries that showed the realities of some food production facilities.
“I had grown up working in kitchens and I really wanted to eat more organically,” said Chef Hunter. “I had a vegetable garden as a teenager and that’s when I really got into hunting for food—I wanted to eat stuff without antibiotics and hormones.”
After friends and family peaked interest in his way of gathering food, he decided to make The Hunter Chef Cookbook to help educate and inform consumers about his way of life.
He acknowledged that many places still practice hunting and gathering, but said he wanted to share and introduce recipes to an urban setting and share new ways to use ingredients that are readily available in our Canadian landscape.
Support for the Canadian food industry is important to Chef Hunter, which is why he chooses to use Barilla pasta products in his recipes. “They support Canadian farmers and I’m passionate about local and supporting the Canadian economy,” he said. “And, it’s a great quality product.”
Celebrate the carb-filled day next weekend with the recipe below:
Acorn Squash and Sage Rotini Pasta
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup 35% cream
- 1 cup dried Barilla rotini pasta
- 3 sprigs of sage chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1 small chunk of parmesan for grating
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Chilli flakes to taste
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, season with salt and black pepper and roast in the oven skin side up at 425f for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
Chop the garlic and shallot and saute in a small pot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes, add a pinch of salt, pepper and chilli flakes, deglaze with the white wine and reduce for 1 minute to cook off the alcohol. Add the cream and bring to a simmer and turn off.
Scoop out one of the squash halves and add to the pot with the cream. Blend with a small stick (immersion) blender or transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside and keep warm. Scoop out the second squash half into a small bowl and break up into bite size pieces, keep warm and reserve.
Heat a frying pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the walnuts and toast for 2-3 minutes stirring every 15 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat the nuts. Cool slightly before chopping and Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil seasoned with salt. Boil the pasta following the cooking directions on the box or until al dente. Strain the pasta, transfer to a large frying pan and add the warm acorn squash puree and toss to coat, grate some fresh parmesan into the pan and add a few pinches of chopped sage and toss to combine.
Divide the pasta into two large bowls, shave more parmesan on top with a microplane or vegetable peeler, and the chopped maple walnuts and a pinch of sage. An optional garnish of fried sage leaves is a nice touch as well.
Find this recipe and more in The Hunter Chef Cookbook.
Need to Know
Breast Cancer Awareness month
While Canadians across the country are lonely in isolation, some groups of people are more affected by quarantine than others. One of those groups is people with cancer.
In pre-pandemic days, people facing cancer could find solace and companionship with in-person support groups and workshops. Given self-isolation and health and safety protocols, these opportunities are no longer available.
To combat this sense of loneliness, at the beginning of the pandemic, Look Good Feel Better, an organization dedicated to helping women with cancer feel like their best selves, went online.
“Although the pandemic stopped a lot of things, it hasn’t stopped cancer. Women are still being diagnosed, having surgery, and living their lives after cancer,” said Dianne, founder of Dianne’s Mastectomy and volunteer with Look Good Feel Better. “Providing this service to women allows for continuity in care and healing.”
Known for their hair, makeup and skincare workshops, Look Good Feel Better creates a safe space for women who are going through a similar experience to connect with others and share their stories.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Look Good Feel Better has launched a specialized workshop for women facing breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers), and the second leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women.
The specialized workshop will provide women with access to information about the types of products available at the various stages of post-surgery, a guide to what to expect and ask for if choosing a breast-fitting post-surgery and information on financial support available to women going through cancer treatments.
“I’ve always enjoyed leading LGFB workshops and being able to provide women this valuable information to help in their cancer journeys,” said Dianne. “ What has been special about moving the workshops online due to the pandemic is that I now get to connect with women all across Canada. It has been a great experience to expand the workshops and meet women in this way who I otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet.”
Like all Look Good Feel Better Workshops, the specialized workshop for women facing breast cancer aims to empower women to feel confident when they return to their everyday activities—whether it be swimming, running, feeling good in their clothes or as simple as hugging your loved ones.
Women can attend the workshops from the comfort of their own home and better yet, they can join from anywhere in the country—no travel time, no paying for parking—it’s as simple as signing up for a workshop online.