Food & Wine Photo Credit: John Sherlock

My Dad’s Spaghetti: Family Recipes from the West’s Best Chefs

Just like mom made—here are 5 comfort food recipes from our favourite chefs.

Chefs aren’t so different. While their jobs are Wagyu and heirloom radishes, their lives are governed by the things that are important to all of us: spending time with family and eating food that makes people happy. We asked them to share their family recipes for when the weather turns cool and comfort is king.

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Spaghetti with Anchovy and Pangrattato

Chef Daniel Costa, Corso 32, Bar Bricco, Edmonton
“This is one of the first dishes that my father taught me to make. I grew up on an acreage, and we had a lot of vegetables and work to do around the garden—I would pick the parsley, garlic and fresh pepperoncini  for this dish and I’d watch him prepare it. I remember eating this every summer with him as far back as I can remember—I would always get a cold glass of my father’s homemade white wine with a little 7Up in it. As I grew up, I started making this simple pasta as a late-night bite—and sometimes my father would smellthe garlic frying and we would have a plate of pasta together at 2 a.m.” — see recipe

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Hot Smoked Salmon

Chef Brad Holmes, Olo Restaurant, Victoria
“Something my grandfather used to make when I was a kid was hot smoked salmon. He cured it in all sorts of things: mainly salt and sugar and whatever else he had on hand. He would smoke it with alder shavings in an old fridge. Here is my adaptation of his recipe. I use it in my restaurant and prepare it for my family today.” — see recipe

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Fat Mao Sesame Noodles

Chef Angus An, Maenam, Fat Mao, Vancouver
“My mom makes this recipe every summer, always with hand-rolled noodles. My version has more vegetables—she includes only carrots and cucumbers. As a kid, I remember always stirring the sauce for her.” — see recipe

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Anastasia Perogies

Chef Jonathan Chovancek, Kale and Nori, Vancouver
“This is a recipe I have renamed for my great-grandmother Anastasia Yunick, who immigrated to Canada with her husband, Anton, from the village of Tsekaniv in Western Ukraine. I have adapted it to include a spicy chorizo in the filling, as that is what I love to eat—and, as I am definitely not a traditionalist, I love what the spice does in this recipe.” — see recipe

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Dinner Pancakes

Chef Matt Batey, The Nash, Calgary 
“Both my parents were very hard-working career professionals who had an amazing dedication to their three kids. Even with all of the hectic goings-on of two careers and kids with many extracurricular activities, dinner as a family was a must. My mother is a nurse, and when we were young she worked shift work. My father is an executive, so many nights Dad would rush home just in time to make dinner as mom was waking up so that we could all eat together before she dashed off to work. Hence breakfast for dinner, as for for mom, it really was breakfast time for her and dinner for us.

The best part of it all was how something so simple as pancakes with a beautifully cooked sunny-side egg—runny yolk, of course—and pure maple syrup tasted like the most decadent food possible. Proof that food really is the medium that joins us, be it friends or family or both.

Depending on what’s in your fridge, you can substitute up to ½ cup buttermilk with plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream. For a fibre and nutrient boost, add a couple of large spoonfuls of rolled oats or oat bran, or fold in fresh or frozen fruit—chopped banana, blueberries, raspberries or whatever is in season.” — see recipe

 

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