Food banks across the country struggle in the summer, their slowest donation time of the year, so 15 of Canada’s leading chefs have come together to help give them a boost.
Part of a campaign spearheaded by Catelli® pasta, the chefs have contributed to a unique cookbook, called Catelli® Pasta Plus Five: Five-ingredient summer pasta dishes by some of Canada’s top chefs. Available for download free-of-charge at www.catelli.ca or on Catelli’s Facebook page, the cookbook features easy, gourmet pasta recipes that are made using only five key ingredients in addition to the pasta. For every “share” of the cookbook on Facebook, Catelli® pasta will donate a serving of pasta to the hungry.
Among the chefs participating in the project is Chef Maria Garza, founder of The Cultural Kitchen in Ottawa, who has contributed a Zesty Tuna, Lemon and Caper Linguine recipe to the Catelli® Pasta plus Five cookbook. Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Chef Garza is an avid cook and traveler who shares her culinary knowledge as a Continuing Education instructor with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Algonquin College and the City of Ottawa.
“This cookbook will make it easy to entertain this summer without spending hours in the kitchen,” Chef Garza said. “Pasta dishes are great for sharing with family and friends and could easily be gourmet with the right ingredients.”
The cookbook is one facet of a national campaign by Catelli® pasta called Help Us Feed the Hope. The campaign also features a coast-to-coast in-store promotion where Catelli® pasta will donate a serving of pasta to food banks nationally for every box of pasta purchased. Participating retailers in Ontario are Sobeys and Metro stores.
“As Canada’s largest pasta manufacturer, Catelli Foods corporation is pleased to take on the corporate responsibility to help Canada’s food banks, particularly when they need it most,” said Sandra Kim, Director of Marketing for the Catelli® pasta brand. “Through our in-store initiative as well as the unique Catelli® Pasta Plus Five cookbook, the company is making it easier than ever for Canadians across the country to join the fight against hunger.”
Kim added that across Canada, close to 850,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks each month, with more than 36 percent of those helped being children and youth. “Many people don’t realize that hunger is a solvable problem, so we’re encouraging everyone in the community to recognize that they can make a difference by getting involved and helping to lighten the load of fellow community members,” she said.
The goal is to reach a donation of one million servings of pasta across Canada, she explained. To get involved in the Help Us Feed the Hope campaign, visit www.catelli.ca or Catelli’s Facebook page, or purchase Catelli® pasta at participating retailers from now until the end of May.
- 1 pkg (375 g) Catelli Smart® Linguine
- ½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tsp (4 ml) chili flakes (optional)
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) thinly sliced shallot
- 2 cans (120 g ea) chunk light tuna packed in water, drained
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon zest (from one lemon)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) capers, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp (3 ml) Kosher salt (or to taste)
- ½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped cilantro
- In large pot of salted boiling water, cook the Catelli Smart® Linguine until firm al dente, about 9 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add chili flakes. Cook 30 seconds and add shallots. Cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium and add tuna, breaking up the chunks. Cook for two minutes and add lemon juice, zest, capers and salt.
- Step 3: Drain pasta, reserving some cooking water. Add pasta immediately to tuna mixture in pan and toss well to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add up to ½ cup (125 ml) pasta cooking water and cook until the water helps thicken sauce, about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Sprinkle with cilantro, toss well and serve immediately.
This pasta is made in the Italian tradition, where the pasta is not too “saucy.” If you want more of a runny sauce, feel free to increase the amount of olive oil or pasta water. If you use tuna packed in olive oil, there is no need to drain it. You can add it with the oil to the pasta. If you want to add more spice, you can use one fresh Jalapeño pepper, minced, instead of chili flakes. Use a microplane grater to zest the lemon. It gives you a very fine zest that is perfect for this recipe.