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GET FLAVORFUL: CHEF MATT BASILE’S ZUCCHINI GORGONZOLA PASTA

Chef Matt Basile’s Zucchini Gorgonzola with Cream Sauce

Zucchini Gorgonzola with Cream Sauce

Delicious and easy. Anyone can make if you follow along, give it a try! Your tummy will be happy you did.

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic

About 1.5 zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup butter

1-2 tbsp creamy Gorgonzola, depending on your taste for it.

And about a quarter cup of starch water from the pasta you make.

Cut zucchini into 8 prices and place on baking sheet with garlic.

Drizzle with olive oil and roast until soft at 450F – shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes.

Then add that plus the oil from the pan a food processor or high-powered blender.

Then add all the other ingredients including the pasta water. Blend until smooth. You want all the

zucchini skin to be pulverized – that’s what gives the sauce its green color. Fresh basil and

or some sweet peas would also be great.

Once creamy, stir in with you pasta and add salt to taste.

Finish with extra parm ’cause really, you can never get enough.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTS:

Karl Schmid

Next up, we are off to Toronto for some lessons on creating that perfect pasta dish from Italian Canadian chef, Matt Basile, who says his success all started with the support of his friends. Italian Canadian chef, Matt Basile, has a passion for people and food. Today, his company, Fidel Gastro’s Street Food Company, is internationally recognized. But 10 years ago, it barely got off the ground.

Matt Basile

So I came up with an idea for opening up a sandwich shop called Fidel Gastro’s, here in Toronto. And I had a meeting scheduled at the bank, and I was denied very quickly because I had no equity, I had no investments, I didn’t own anything. The bank looked at me as a huge liability, and they were like “Absolutely not.”

Karl Schmid

A few weeks later, an idea came when Matt was making dinner for his friends.

Matt Basile

People started to like gravitate around the cooking area, and it felt like it was an extension of the party. So I was like “Maybe that’s what the business model is to get started.”

Karl Schmid

Basile reworked his original business plan and created Fidel Gastro’s, a pop-up food company.

Matt Basile

I had hosted my first pop-up, and from there we’ve grown quite a bit. We’ve launched a food truck and a huge catering company. We got a catering division of all different kind of shapes and sizes. I have my own restaurant, so it’s been fun to constantly call food, and feeding people, my career.

Karl Schmid

While working 100 plus hours a week on various branches of his company, tragedy struck when his grandfather suddenly passed away. The news of his death hit Matt hard. To help with the healing process, he opened up about his grief in an article for VICE.

Matt Basile

I don’t think I had a chance to grieve, and I think it manifested in forms of anger, and stress, and depression. So I wrote a article for VICE, and it kind of started a conversation, at least for me, about what more could we do within the community.

Karl Schmid

Matt divided his energy between his business and his charity.

Matt Basile

I linked up with KMH, I started doing cooking classes, for their in and out programs. And basically the idea behind that was giving people an opportunity to learn foundations of flavor, and you’ve gotta make $15 taste really good.

Karl Schmid

But Basile saw another community in need. In 2017, Matt helped launch June’s Eatery, the world’s first pop-up restaurant where the chefs, service, and staff were all HIV positive. His goal was to eliminate stigma that comes with the disease.

Matt Basile

It was an incredibly important initiative for no other reason than facts matter. I think the fear around people not having a meal prepared by someone who’s HIV positive is just that, it is fear.

Karl Schmid

And Matt that continued to make an impact, his business was doing better than ever. But when the coronavirus hit North America, the catering and restaurant industry took a severe hit.

Matt Basile

We’re predominantly an events and catering company, and we saw everything from our weddings getting postponed by 12 months, and there were a lot of charitable events that we were involved with that all had been canceled, across the board.

Karl Schmid

While some small businesses closed their doors permanently, Matt had to adapt the Fidel Gastro’s business model.

Matt Basile

We have shifted gears. We’ve started doing meal programs, so people can… We have a menu of like five or six items. It’s never going to recoup the lost business that we’ve had, it’s an opportunity to keep people experiencing our food, and our brand, and you know, keep members of my team busy as well.

Karl Schmid

In light of the stay at home order, Matt is finding time to create new recipes.

Matt Basile

I just started putting some elements together, and it’s a very hearty sauce. It’s so, so simple to make. And other than for the gorgonzola, very, very, very cost effective. Simple, first thing I did was, wanted to save some time, roasted off some zucchini and garlic in the oven at 425, add about a tablespoon of olive oil, there’s no need to salt it because we’ve got so much other flavors going on. Right here I have a pot of water already boiling. I’m just gonna add some salt to it. And then the rigatoni is going to go right in. So you’re going to cook the pasta just like you would cook it for any other sauce, I like my pasta al dente. So now we’re going to make the sauce. Got the zucchini, that’s going to go in. We got the roasted garlic. All right, so now we’ve gotten those ingredients, just kind of quickly pulse, not done yet. So got a little bit of gorgonzola cheese, I’m using about two tablespoons worth. Then a healthy, healthy amount of butter because that’s gonna help, again, add some cream factor to it. So add a couple of leaves of basil in there, a little bit of mashed potatoes. I’m going to take about a ladles worth of starch water that we’re using here for our pasta. Last but not least, we have parmesan cheese. This parm is just, it’s fantastic, and add salt to it. And then now you can really start to see those colors come together as that skin breaks, that’s what really gives it that creamy green finish, and what we’re looking for. That’s it, that was the sauce, it’s done. And now we’re going to add some of this beautiful sauce to the pasta, got a little bit of the sauce going into the base, add the pasta in, give it a stir. You want to start to see this beautiful, soft, kind of coat the pasta. And then like I was saying earlier, I come from that school of thought, there’s not no such thing as too much parmesan, I’m just gonna put a little bit of chili flakes right on the pasta. And then we’re gonna come right over that plate, and just give it a really, really generous amount of parmesan cheese. Hope you enjoy and stay safe.

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