Last week we celebrated the grand opening of Ovest Cucina e Vineria; Toronto’s cantina-inspired Italian kitchen and wine bar. Located at 788 King St W, Ovest is a brand new concept in Italian dining and entertaining.
With an innovative space, Ovest offers an in-house pizza oven, local salumeria, and walk-in vineria. Their menu is updated seasonally and features a combination of fresh regional Canadian and authentic Italian offerings including produce, meat, and cheese, with a special focus on seafood.
Leading the kitchen is Chef Luca Stracquadanio (previously of La Bettola di Terroni and Terroni) who brings his unique Italian traditions mixed with French techniques creating dishes with unparalleled flavour and spectacular presentation.
Whether you want to grab a quick bite at the bar with a paired glass of wine or signature cocktail, or enjoy a relaxed sit-down dining experience, Ovest has it all – and let us tell you, it’s delicious!!
If there’s one good thing that comes from the cold, grey months of fall-winter, it’s the delicious comfort-foods filled with rich, hearty ingredients that bring us back to our childhoods with warm fireplaces and bustling dinner tables.
There’s no secret about it… pasta is absolutely an NKPR favourite. In honour of the Italian staple, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite recipes from a variety of restaurants around Toronto featuring different types of Barilla pasta.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini – Recipe by Chef Saverio Macri
150g Barilla Orecchiette Pasta
Rapini – ½ a bunch
1 Whole Spicy Sausage
50g Fontina Cheese
2 cloves Garlic
Extra Virgin olive oil to taste
Parmesan & Fontina Cheese
– Put pasta in boiling water for 10-12 minutes and the rapini for 5-7 minutes (until fork tender)
– In the meantime, get a pan and add olive oil and brown some sausage. – Next, throw in the garlic and let brown together. – Toss in the cooked Orecchiette and rapini, and finish it with parmesan and fontina cheese. Serves 2
Did you know? “Orecchiette” means little ears in Italian – and that’s because the pasta is shaped like little ears.
Federico Fellini Farfalle alla Bolognese – Recipe by Chef Eron Novalski
500 g Barilla Farfalle Pasta
2.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 tbsp butter
1/2 carrot, finely, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 rib celery, finely diced
1/2 pound veal, ground
1/2 pound fresh pork sausage
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/2 tube tomato paste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
– In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. – Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. – Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.
– Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. – Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat. – When ready to use, the cooked Barilla Farfalle pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tossed so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.
Rigatoni “Alla Carbonara” – Recipe by Chef Giacomo Pasquini
1lb Rigatoni Barilla Pasta
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup guanciale (pancetta) cut in lardons
Pregiato Black Truffle
– Cook the Guanciale in a fry pan with the oil until crispy and set aside
– Mix the egg, yolks, pecorino and the black pepper together in a bowl and set aside
– Cook the pasta. When it is nice and al “dente” drain it and pour it in the fry pan with the crispy guanciale. – Turn the heat on, add some pasta water and leave it a bit moist than usual. Turn heat off. Add the eggs and cheese mix, sauté off heat until nice and smooth. – Add extra black pepper and truffle Serves 6 – 8
**NKPR Tip: We recommend our favourite Zwilling cookwares to prepare this dish. Pasta cooks beautifully in the Zwilling Prime pots while offering guests parmesan cheese in these ramekins.
Cut Ziti with Arugula Pesto *Vegetarian – Recipe by Chef Paolo Marabello,
400 g Cut Ziti Barilla Pasta
1 cup Basil leaves
2 cup Arugula salad
1/2 cup Pinenuts
1 Garlic clove
1/2 cup of Pecorino Chese
1/3 cup of Parmesan
1 cup cherry tomatoes – cut in half
1/2 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
– Put basil, arugula, garlic, pinenuts, pecorino cheese and extra virgin olive oil in the mixer and blend well for a one minute.
Meanwhile: – cook the pasta until al dente – Sauté cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil – Drain Pasta, but keep 2 spoonfuls of cooking water. – Mix the pasta with cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce. Add the 2 spoonfuls of cooking water. – Serve with shaved parmesan cheese and buon appetite! Serves 4 people