A Taste of Italy: Toronto Chef Ted Corrado Shares His Recipe for Easy Pasta Tomato Sauce
Chef Ted Corrado, who's now found his culinary home at the European-styled restaurant at the Toronto Beach Club, chats with us about his family-style cooking and Italian roots, and shares his recipe for authentic pasta sauce. Photo: fcafotodigital / Getty Images
Chef Ted Corrado’s adept cooking has helped define the kind of easy yet sophisticated cuisine that Torontonians have come to know and love, with dishes based on fresh local ingredients transformed into flavours with global influence and flair.
Recently ensconced as Corporate Executive Chef for all of Scale Hospitality, including Toronto Beach Club which opened on Lakeshore East last summer, he’s found home in an European-styled restaurant that combines elegant evening dining with a daytime café and bar and a burger joint, plus a lively market for fresh fare (daily seafood, house-butchered meats) and all the accoutrements for a meal to take home.
The cuisine touches on the flavours of Spain, Turkey, France, Italy and Greece, and is designed for family-style sharing — which, he says, is just how Corrado likes to cook for his own friends and family. Fresh fish, pasta and a variety of meats are the stars, along with a selection of mezzes and sides, with — of course — fine wines from around the world, with an emphasis on Mediterranean regions.
Here, we chat with the renowned chef about his family-style cooking and how its influenced by both his Italian roots and upbringing in the multicultural city of Toronto. Plus, he shares his recipe for easy tomato sauce.
Speaking of the lakeside dining, where do you go for a bite al fresco and a little cocktail?
When I get the chance to head out of town, I love checking out Drake Devonshire and Sand & Pearl Oyster Bar in Prince Edward County.
Can you give us some tips on cooking family-style?
I love to keep things super rustic and clean. Nothing over complicated. When you’re cooking family-style, you don’t need to get too fussy — just use great ingredients and keep it simple.
You’ve cooked at some of Toronto’s top restaurants, with a wide variety of culinary styles. What is your background and how does it inform your cooking?
I’m a Toronto chef, born and bred, so a lot of my cooking is influenced by growing up in such a multicultural city. My background is Italian, so I heavily lean on this style as well. I love the simplicity of Italian cuisine and its ingredient-driven focus … starting with the best products and presenting them simply to truly let the ingredients shine.
Easy Pasta Tomato Sauce
2 to 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp (7 ml) garlic, minced
½ tbsp (7 ml) dried chili flakes
¾ cup (180 ml) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
Salt and pepper
1/4 lb (100 g) pasta, dried or fresh
Heat 2 to 3 tbsp of good extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and chilli flakes. Sweat the garlic, then add tomatoes and simmer a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. While the sauce simmers, boil pasta according to instructions. Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Top with fresh basil and grated parmesan.