While his tomato sauces and pastas had been gracing the supermarket aisles for several months, the only thing missing were meatballs, a staple of Sunday dinners for Italian families. “It was my greatest wish,” he laughs, never thinking that we would have the chance to purchase such products at local supermarkets.
Stefano considers himself a purist. He was first inspired by his mother’s delicious and comforting meatball recipe, already a mainstay at two of his restaurants. He developed his own recipes, aiming to offer a high-quality yet affordable product with a taste reminiscent of Mama Elena’s cooking.
Stefano believes that a good meatball depends on the quality of the meat, which should be coarsely ground. It should then be simmered directly in the tomato sauce; it shouldn’t be seared beforehand, otherwise it won’t absorb the flavour of the sauce. Finally, you should be able to cut into it with a fork without it falling apart. After a few tries where he changed the proportion of his ingredients as well as the settings on the equipment, Stefano finally landed on the perfect recipe.
Made with pork from Quebec raised with no hormones, organic parmesan, gluten-free breadcrumbs (made with rice flour and pea protein) and spices, there are two versions of Stefano’s meatballs, certified Aliments du Québec, available to shoppers: classic and pesto, which has a nut-free basil puree folded in. Pork was an intentional choice, because “the fat helps give it that luscious texture.”
Contrary to popular belief, meatballs don’t just go with spaghetti. You can make a holiday appetizer “by serving it on a slice of bread with a spoonful of tomato sauce, garnished with a quenelle of ricotta whipped with lemon zest.” You can also serve it as an hors d’oeuvre: “Cut the meatballs in half and serve some mini burgers with homemade mayo.”
In Italian, “fare la scarpetta” is the act of collecting what little sauce is left on your plate using a piece of bread, and Stefano — the tomato sauce boss, is very fond of the ritual. Above all, the art of scarpetta lies in the choice of bread, and the restaurateur particularly likes that of À Chacun Son Pain, “which, in addition to always being fresh, is organic and handcrafted in Charlevoix.”
In 2013, Frédéric Daoust and Tommy Gosselin launched a small craft charcuterie, selling dried sausages made with animal-welfare-certified pork shoulder from a local farm. Each of their five dried sausages, free of added fats, personifies a distinct character with a unique flavour profile: Jack — the hefty lumberjack (wild mushrooms and a pepper blend); Leeroy — the American pitmaster (whiskey and BBQ sauce); Saverio — the very Italian (red wine and herbs); Pepe — the Mexican (hot peppers and chipotle); and Laurence — the meat-loving Montrealer (steak seasoning and dill).
Created to showcase the work of our local cheesemakers, this all-age Advent calendar features 15 different artisanal cheeses from 9 dairies across the province. The selection that makes up this edible countdown — from aged cheddar, to Tommes and other hard and semi-hard cheeses — will allow you to sample an array of products before deciding which will make for the perfect cheese platter. Your challenge should you accept it: to sample only one cheese a day.
Founded in 1956 by a husband-and-wife team from the Basque Country, Au Pain Doré bakery has been nurturing the artisanal know-how and promoting the unique taste of French bread ever since. Four generations have dedicated themselves to artisan bread-making, from French loaves and baguettes, to fougasses and fruit-and-nut breads, all of which have soft and airy interiors and crispy crusts. Available are the Au Pain Doré classic line and the Au Pain Doré Origine line, whose breads are sourdough based.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: –
Total time: 10 minutes
– In a large serving bowl, mix together all salad ingredients. Set aside.
– In another bowl, combine all dressing ingredients.
– Drizzle salad with desired amount of dressing.