7 Summer Food Trends

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Here, what’s hot in food this summer – plus family-style recipes and pasta-making tips from one of Canada’s top chefs.

So what’s cooking this season? Think foods with exotic Mediterranean flavours, ancient Indian spices with a modern twist, Calypso beans and pulses, and the so-called “ugly vegetables” such as cauliflower, jicama and rutabaga.

This is according to some of Canada’s top chefs, who have come together to create a digital cookbook of family-style recipes that feature the season’s trending ingredients.

Cooking with a cause

And to whet your appetite even more, the free cookbook, called Pasta to the Rescue: Hot Summer Dishes for Busy Families, sponsored by Catelli Foods will support an important cause: Canada’s food banks. The initiative is part of a national campaign by CatelliFoods called Help Us Feed the Hope.

For every download or share of the cookbook or recipes, the company will donate servings of pasta to food banks in Canada.

Contributors include such culinary captains as Renee Bellefeuille (Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto), David Flegel (Hyatt Regency Calgary), Trevor Simms (Halifax Marriott Harbourfront), Martin Levesque (National Arts Centre in Ottawa), Scott Baechler (The Canadian Food and Wine Institute in Niagara), and Eraj Jayawickreme (Fairmont Winnipeg).

The cookbook is available for download free of charge at www.catelli.ca .

NEXT:  Recipe for Middle Eastern Pomegranate and Tahini Pasta Salad with Lamb Kebabs by Chef Renée Bellefeuille. Executive Chef, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

RECIPE: Middle Eastern Pomegranate and Tahini Pasta Salad with Lamb Kebabs

By Chef Renée Bellefeuille. Executive Chef, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Prep time: 40 min

Cook time: 20 min

Servings: 4



4 cups (1 L)                 water

¼ tsp (5 g)                   salt

1 pkg (375 g)               Catelli Smart® Fusilli

3 tbsp (45 ml)              extra virgin olive oil

juice of one lemon


Tahini Dressing

½ cup (115 g)             tahini

¼ cup (60 ml)             warm water

zest of one lemon

⅛ tsp (1.25 g)              salt

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1 tsp (10 g)                  ground cumin



¼ cup (35 g)               pomegranate seeds

1 cup (85 g)                 fresh crumbled cauliflower florets

¼ cup (30 g)               finely diced red onion

2 tbsp (30 g)                lightly toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup (5 g)                 finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley


Lamb Kebabs

1 lb (500 g)                  ground lamb

2 tbsp (30 g)                finely diced red onion

¼ cup (5 g)                 finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

1                                  egg

2 tsp (10 ml)                ground cumin

1 tsp (5 ml)                  coriander

¼ tsp (1.25 g)              chilli flakes

salt and pepper to taste

8                                  skewers



Step 1: For pasta, bring water to a rapid boil. Add salt and pasta and stir until water returns to boil. Cook fusilli for 7 minutes to tender. Drain and toss pasta with extra virgin oil and lemon juice while warm, then spread on tray to cool.

Step 2: For Tahini dressing, using a medium size mixing bowl, add warm water slowly to tahini, whisking until smooth and water is completely incorporated. Then add lemon zest, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.

Step 3: To de-seed a pomegranate, cut the fruit in half. Using a large mixing bowl, submerge one half of the pomegranate under water and begin peeling away the rind and separating the seeds from the flesh. The seeds will sink to the bottom. Repeat with the second half, drain the water and set the seeds aside.

Step 4: When the pasta is cool, transfer it to a large bowl and combine with tahini dressing, pomegranate seeds, cauliflower, onions, sesame seeds and parsley, tossing until evenly mixed. Pasta will be served cool.

Step 5: For lamb kebabs, preheat oven to 400 °F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Separate the mixture into 8 evenly sized balls. Mould each ball around the tip of a skewer, flattening into a 2-inch oval. Repeat with the remaining skewers. Place all kebabs onto tray and bake for 6 minutes (for medium). Let the lamb rest for 3 minutes and serve right away with pasta salad.

(For more recipes, you can download the cookbook for free www.catelli.ca.)

NEXT: 7 Pasta-Making Tips from the Pros

7 Pasta-Making Tips from the Pros

– Never put pasta in a pot that isn’t boiling first – the end result will be a gooey, overdone noodle.

– Boil pasta in plenty of water (six to eight litres of water for 500 grams of pasta). Avoid adding oil or butter to the pot – the water alone will keep the noodles separated.

– To have perfectly seasoned pasta, think salty like the sea: for every gallon of water, use one cup of salt, bring to a boil and cook your noodles.

– Slightly undercook pasta so that it is just cooked in your dish. Chefs refer to this as al dente.

– Never rinse your pasta after it’s cooked. That wonderful coating of starch that’s sitting on your heated pasta will enable your sauce to stick to the pasta.

– After draining, spread cooked pasta on a tray with parchment paper, and toss it with some olive oil.

– Keep leftover cooked pasta in the fridge for up to three days.  When it’s time to reheat, place the pasta into boiling water for one minute.