Simply food


Bart and Nigel, ready to attack the ingredients

Bart and Nigel, ready to attack the ingredients

If I’d known that making fresh pasta was this easy, I’d have been making it years ago. Now all I’ve got to do is wait for someone to give me a pasta maker. (Anybody listening?)

We’ve been to the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market to shop many times, as it’s an easy run from our Annex townhouse. In the winter the market contracts and goes indoors, but in summertime it spreads around the park and snuggles up to the outdoor ovens, where bakers make wonderful fresh breads, cinnamon rolls and pizza treats.

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market

Due to the pressures of our shooting schedule for Market to Table, we visit in January, on a bitterly cold day, and manage to chat with several of the merchants while buying the goodies Chef Bart Pocock has specified on his shopping list for the show, especially smoked organic Berkshire pork and pretty turkey eggs from Jens Eller of Marvellous Edibles Farm.

Chef also lives around the corner and takes his boys there for pizza making in the summer. He tells me they can pick fresh herbs from the park’s herb garden to go on their pie too. Getting them involved is one way to get kids to eat and have fun too.

Nord Bistro, Toronto

Nord Bistro, Toronto

By the time we end up on the kitchen set, kindly provided by Miele, we’ve honed what we’ll make and how we’ll do it. Originally Bart was going to make beet stained pasta, but then he settles on his carbonara concept and feels pasta made with carrot juice will look better. I bring Jens’ fresh heritage carrots and a bunch of beets to the show kitchen, just in case he changes his mind again. Because the pasta has to rest, Bart makes the carrot juice and a batch of pasta in advance in the prep kitchen.

Once we get rolling with the taping, we stop for very little. Some ingredients are made two or three times over so we don’t waste valuable crew time and can skip ahead. As TV chefs and presenters have been saying for ages: “Here’s one I made earlier!”

In pasta, as in life, size apparently does matter and soon big fat hand-made pappardelle noodles are waiting to go into the boiling water. The meal comes together quickly and the crew pronounce it delicious. One of the fun things we’ve introduced is a scene to run under the credits of the crew noshing on the dishes the chefs produce. Nothing is left over at the end of each taping, I can tell you.

During the taping Bart tells me about the new restaurant he’ll be opening in the spring, and by the time we broadcast the episode, his Nord Bistro has indeed opened on Dupont Street. I drop by for dinner and, yes, the home made pasta is outstanding.


Chef Bart Pocock’s fresh organic carrot pappardelle with smoked Berkshire pork hock and turkey egg carbonara, uses all locally sourced and organic ingredients.

BART 4Shopping list

Fresh pasta

  • 1 large egg and 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup fresh carrot juice
  • 2 cups unbleached flour


  • 1 lb smoked Berkshire pork hock (with fairly generous fat marbling), diced
  • 2 turkey eggs, beaten
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup finely grated hard cheese (sheep and goat milk cheddar or pecorino)
  • salt and pepper


Fresh pasta

  1. Pulse the flour in a food processor until airy. Around a minute.  Add juice and eggs and mix on low until it starts to form a loose ball.  Dump out on a cutting board and knead to bring it together.  Wrap in plastic and set aside for at least an hour to let the glutens rest.
  2. Cut the pasta ball in quarters and form one portion into a rough oval shape. (Be sure to wrap the remaining pasta balls to keep them moist.) Pass it through the pasta maker on the widest setting. Fold edges in and pass through again.  Fold edges in and pass through the pasta maker starting at the widest and working your way up to the narrowest.  Trim the sheet at the top and bottom to make it square and cut to desired pasta length.  Set aside under a damp towel and repeat the process for the remaining pasta balls.  When complete, cut pasta sheets lengthwise in 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch ribbons with a knife or pizza cutter.  Set aside keeping the ribbons separate as much as possible.


  1. Put on a large pot of salted water to boil. Heat olive oil on medium in large deep skillet.  Add the pappardelle to the boiling water.  Add the diced pork to the skillet.  Sautée until browned and lightly crisp.
  2. Remove the pork from the skillet and quickly sautée the shallots and garlic until soft and slightly browned. Add the pork back to the pan and toss in the fresh pappardelle straight from the water.  (It’s OK if you get a bit of the pasta water in the pan.)
  3. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese and the beaten turkey eggs until they are lightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in shallow bowls and top with baby arugula.

NEWS UPDATE: My fully illustrated e-book, Market to Table: The Cookbook started as a project for novice cooks, but after I was picked to host a cooking show featuring food bought at farmers’ markets, developed into a more complete collection of the recipes from the series, including some from guest chefs on the show, as well as those from my well-read foodie blog. It is easy to read, divided into chapters that cover the main mealtimes of the day, and into recipes that are concise and guaranteed to work. Most recipes are accompanied by an entertaining story. Brilliant young Chef Dan Frenette, who now hosts the TV series, has written the Foreword and contributes to the book.

How about a copy as a gift idea for yourself, friends, family or anyone who loves to cook, now available on, i-Tunes and Amazon.

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