5 Comfort Food Classics From Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford

Photo courtesy of Lynn Crawford

Here, winter comfort food at its best with these recipes from Canadian chef and Food Network star Lynn Crawford.


1. Baked Mafalda Pasta


Photo courtesy of Lynn Crawford



Marinara Sauce

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 lb fresh tomatoes, ground in a food processor or blender

1/3 cup each chopped fresh parsley and basil

1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper


2 cups ricotta cheese

8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup grated Habanero cheddar

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb Mafalda Corta pasta


Marinara Sauce: In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter. Add garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste; simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Pasta: In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, cheddar, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt to taste and pasta; cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return  to the pot. Toss with a little of the sauce.

Place a layer of sauced pasta in a large casserole dish. Dot pasta with small bits of the cheese mixture and then spoon some tomato sauce over the cheese. Repeat this process two more times to make 3 layers of pasta, cheese and sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake in 350 F oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

2. Braised Beef Short Ribs Bourguignon

Photo courtesy of Lynn Crawford


Short Ribs

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 1-lb beef short ribs

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups Barolo or other full-bodied red wine

14 ounces diced tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

4 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Bourguignon Trimmings 

½ cup bacon, medium diced

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups mushroom stock

½ cup tomato, peeled, seeded and medium diced

½ cup pearl onions, peeled and roasted

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped parsley

3. Thyme & Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Thyme & Garlic Roasted Potatoes

2 lb fingerling potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 thyme sprigs

4. Lemon Garlic Glazed Carrots 


1 lb heirloom carrot batonnet (2 in long, 1/2 in thick)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, minced

Zest of half a lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Pulling it together:

Short Ribs: In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Season ribs with salt and pepper and sear until deep brown all on sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the pan and cook over high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in red wine, tomatoes, stock and thyme, rosemary and bay leaves, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and return short ribs to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in 375 F oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Bourguignon Trimmings: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, render bacon until crisp and golden brown. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Whisk in the mushroom stock, bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, until stock has thickened. Remove from heat; add the tomato, pearl onions, green onions and parsley.

Thyme & Garlic Roasted Potatoes: Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in large mixing bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until potatoes are well coated. Spread in a baking tray with garlic and thyme. Roast in 375 F oven until browned and crisp, about 20 to 30 minutes, flipping twice with a spatula during roasting.

Lemon Garlic Glazed Carrots: Toss carrots with oil to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400 F oven until tender and slightly charred, about 15 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place one short rib in each bowl, top with a little of the pan juices and Bourguignon trimmings. Toss carrots in lemon butter sauce and add them and potatoes to serving dish. Season to taste and serve hot.

Serves 4


5. Peameal on a Bun

cpp_0047Peameal on a Bun with Onion Marmalade and Honey Mustard Aioli
Serves 4


1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 pound peameal bacon, thickly sliced into 16 slices
4 Kaiser rolls

Onion Marmalade

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cups sliced mixed onions
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Honey Mustard Aioli

Makes 1 cup
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Kozlick’s triple crunch mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use


In a small bowl, whisk together honey and mustard.

In a large skillet over medium high, add 4 slices of bacon. Brush with honey mustard glaze to coat well. Turn and brush with more glaze. Cook bacon until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the bacon to plate and continue cooking the rest of the bacon.

In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil, add onions, bay leaves, thyme and salt and sauté until onions are translucent, about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add balsamic and red wine vinegars and continue cooking until liquid evaporates and onions are glistening. Cool onion mixture to room temperature. Remove thyme and bay leaves, then spoon into an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwich, cut the buns in half. On the bottom and top of each bun, place one tablespoon of mustard aioli. Then layer the buns with the 4 slices of peameal bacon. Finish the sandwich with a large spoon of Onion Marmalade.