This baked pasta dish with fresh tomatoes is perfect for a summer party!
Use fresh summer tomatoes for this tasty basked pasta dish from Béatrice Peltre's cookbook My French Family Table.
1 Place the toast and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan; set aside.
2 Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
3 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the baking dish with olive oil; set aside.
4 In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano and thyme; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, without browning. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and brown sugar and season with salt and pepper; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced. Discard the oregano, thyme and bay leaf.
5 Transfer the sauce to the bowl of a food processor, add the ricotta and purée until smooth.
6 In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce, basil, pine nuts and remaining Parmesan.
7 Transfer to the prepared baking dish, scatter with the mozzarella and sliced tomato and top with the breadcrumb mixture; add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
8 Bake the gratin for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
9 Serve immediately.
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Excerpted from My French Family Table by Béatrice Peltre. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Béatrice Peltre, Photography copyright © 2016 Béatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved.
Satisfy even the most discerning epicureans on your list with one of these fashionable foodie-approved finds.
We all have that person in our life who can prepare an intricate meal without so much as glancing at a recipe. That person who dabbles in all things culinary related on a daily basis and has a kitchen pantry that rivals that of celebrity chef Mark McEwan (or it at least comes close). Not sure what to treat them to this holiday season? Browse through our list of food-related gift ideas for inspiration.
A heart-smart treat for the health food aficionado in your life, this carefully curated six-pack of cold-pressed juices contains almost two pounds of fruit and veg in every bottle! Cold-pressed Juices, Dose Juice, $42 per 6-piece pack.
This elegant Art Deco-style coffee dripper is for your friend who has one foot planted firmly at home and the other off in some distant Parisian patisserie. Hario stainless copper Coffee Dripper, Indigo, $100.
If the Bat Cave had a coffee maker, this would be it. Nespresso’s latest boasts a matte black finish befitting anyone in need of a caffeine jolt before saving Gotham City. VertuoLine Coffee Machine in Matte Black, Nespresso, $249.
This high-ranking mustard deserves your salute. Flavoured with decadent wine and truffles – and only available for a limited time – it’s a covetable condiment fit for any top official. Black Truffle and Chablis Mustard, Maille, $43 US.
These striking mugs echo exotic corners of the earth that yield top-notch coffee, from Sumatra to Costa Rica. Pair a mug with beans from the same region for a gift guaranteed to please any java junkie. Stamp Art Mugs, Starbucks, $19 each.
These pretty, precious and feminine flasks are almost too stylish to sully with alcohol – but everyone has a friend who would! Stainless steel Odeme Flasks, 90 ml, West Elm, $29 US each.
This vintage-look colander is a timeless classic that takes an everyday kitchen tool from dull to display-worthy. Copper-plated steel Colander in Gold, Anthropologie, $34 US.
This Scandi-chic French press in pale pink (with a pretty copper detail) is not only a beautiful vessel for your morning brew, but also an ideal addition to any open shelf. Ceramic French Press in Sand, Yield Design Co., $120 US.
Treat fans of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to “the gift that keeps on giving.” Translation: their very own Jelly of the Month Club gift set! (Reference lost on you? See here.) Griswold Jelly of the Month Club Gift Set, Retro Festive, $40.
It may resemble salami, but this treat is made entirely out of chocolate. Containing hazelnuts, almonds, cherries and even rum, the confection is a certified crowd-pleaser – especially when presented on a cutting board. Chocolate salami, SOMA Chocolatemaker, $23.
Count on Alessi to make a conventional utensil undeniably sleek. Crafted from stainless steel and boasting a unique shape, the modern citrus squeezer also doubles as a pestle. Valerio Citrus Squeezer, Alessi, $71.
Building a beautiful cheese platter is something of an art form, but it helps to have stylish spreaders to complement the nibbles. This gorgeous set with rose quartz handles will make any table sparkle. Rose Quartz Spreaders, HomeSense, $15 4-piece set.
Decorated in shades of silver and gold, this shimmering tree makes a statement. Image by: Donna Griffith
What’s better than chic, sophisticated holiday style? The ability to achieve it with ease. Here are 10 tips to simplify your next festive soiree.
Last year, when homeowners Pamela Schott and Sheldon Pollack moved into this 7,500-square-foot five-bedroom century home in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, they merged more than just their families (he has three 30-somethings; she has two kids; and four of the five live at the house part-time). The couple, who will wed next year, also blended their approaches to the holidays. To that end, their seasonal decor is sophisticated and minimalist, glamorous and uncluttered, neither too gimmicky nor too theme-y. For Pamela and Sheldon, it’s all about simplicity. Though they enjoy entertaining – the couple loves to host a holiday drop-in – they always keep it effortless. “A party is about the friends, family, wine, appetizers and conversation,” says Pamela, who makes creating a relaxed atmosphere her priority. “It’s about the event, not the planning.” Here, we highlight 10 ways Pamela and Sheldon execute their elegant holiday style with ease.
1 Choose function: A petite potted rosemary tree gives the kitchen counter holiday flair with purpose. Well into the new year, it will serve as a source of fresh decoration for place settings and garnish for themed cocktails.
2 Make strategic splurges: Don’t stress about baking in the days leading up to your party. If you lack the time and the piping skills, splurge on artfully adorned cookies iced in your home’s colour scheme for a scrumptious statement.
3 Stay simple: A bouquet of white amaryllis is an understated accent that’s synonymous with winter but doesn’t scream “holidays.” Buy the blooms a few days before your event so they’re at their prime when guests arrive.
4 Lay it down: Getting festive garlands to swag just right can take a lot of fussing. So if you want to gussy up your windows in a flash, layer cuttings of greenery on your windowsills instead. Here, Douglas fir and magnolia leaves add a luxe touch.
5 Accent the architecture: Draw attention to eye-catching structural features like leaded glass windows with beautiful holiday wreaths that accentuate the details but don’t steal the show.
6 Make room for more: Use a bowl to hold gorgeous Christmas ornaments that didn’t make it onto the tree for a simple centrepiece or coffee table accent.
7 Wrap it up: No pot? No problem! Use a swath of grey linen fabric secured with decorative ribbon to dress up the base of a tabletop tree. This unconventional feature lends a festive touch to an otherwise unadorned space.
8 Come out from under the tree: Take your gift wrapping to the next level with finishing details like sculptural toppers and layered ribbons. Don’t just place presents under the tree: Artfully arrange them on various nearby surfaces for vignettes that suit the season.
9 Mix metallics: Sticking to a gold and silver palette makes decorating the tree almost effortless. Look for a mix of shimmering materials, from beading to mercury glass to metallic fabrics, so you don’t have to think too hard about even distribution.
10 Make it a team effort: Whether it’s decorating the tree, hanging wreaths or wrapping presents, holiday tasks are more easily executed as a team. Get your tools out ahead of time, gather the family and put on your favourite holiday tunes to set the mood – you’ll be done before you can say “cool yule!”
The children on your holiday shopping list are sure to love these unique and interactive gift ideas.
Shopping for kids can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially during the holidays. To keep the little ones on your holiday shopping list happy, we've rounded up some of our favourite fun and interactive gift ideas. Perfect for children of all ages, these items are sure to bring joy and excitement over the holidays.
Colouring books will always be a popular gift. This year, gift your little Picasso with a unique spin on the classic colouring book - a puzzle they can colour themselves! Colour Your Own Puzzle, Winners, $12.99.
A toothbrush that gets kids excited about brushing is a win-win for parents and children. Featuring an interactive app you can sync to your smart device and customizable stickers - what's not to love! Philips Sonicare for Kids, Walmart, $59.99.
Perfect for the creative kid on your shopping list. This DIY marble maze allows players to design their own experience, challenge opponents and even features a fun virtual reality viewer. Seedling Marble Maze, Indigo, $74.95.
When it's just too cold to play outside, this fun caravan-style tent is the perfect for letting creativity and imagination flourish indoors. HEMMAHOS Children's tent, IKEA, $39.99.
How adorable are these wooden kitchen appliances? With realistic rotating pieces and turning clicks, your kids will enjoy hours of fun. Wooden Appliances, Pottery Bark Kids, prices vary.
This cookie cutter set is a great way to combine a young Jedi masters love for baking holiday treats and their obsession with all things Star Wars. Star Wars™ 8-Piece Cookie Cutter Set, Williams-Sonoma, $29.95.
Kids will love this fun, interactive, and imaginative way to learn math, language and shapes. Designed for use with your tablet, each subject has its own games and interactive toys. Tiggly Learner Kit, Best Buy, $99.99.
Add a new addition to family game night with a classic like Scrabble. Fun for the whole family, this vintage edition comes in a stylish, linen-wrapped book. Scrabble Vintage Bookshelf Edition, Indigo, $49.95.
Build-A-Bear Workshop's newest reindeer collection means from start to finish your children can put their own unique spin on creating the seasonal stuffed toy of their dreams. Glisten, Twinkle and Tinsel Reindeer, Build-A-Bear Workshop, prices vary.