Transcript: Simplify your cooking with Chef Sean MacDonald and Simplii Financial

[Sean talking to camera in a restaurant ēst.]

>> Sean: Hi. I'm Chef Sean MacDonald, and I'm at Restaurant ēst here in Toronto. This pandemic has definitely thrown a little bit of a wrench into a lot of people's lives. A recent survey has shown that 81% of people are looking to simplify their lives post-COVID, 52% of people are actually sharing more of an appreciation for what they do have after this. And then 47% of people are looking to start budgeting for their grocery shopping. This is why I've partnered with Simplii Financial, a mobile banking app that is available 24/7 for service online and over the telephone. Its goal is to make banking more simple and straightforward. Today, I'm going to be demonstrating a simple spaghetti aglio e olio recipe.

[Sean in kitchen at prep counter]

Here we're going to show something that you can make from stuff at home that you probably have kicking around the house. It's very tasty. It's very simple. It's not the traditional spaghetti aglio e olio. It's going to be a little bit of a twist and a rendition on it just from what I enjoy with my palette with this pasta and what I find adds to it.

[Ingredients in small bowls on a tray]

Here are some of the ingredients that we have for this. A little chopped parsley, a little fresh chile. You can use dried chile too, because that's probably in your pantry. A little chopped shallot, fresh garlic. This is roasted red pepper juice. And then we have a little bit of anchovy and lemon. Traditionally, you can do it with spaghetti or whatever pasta you want. I have black spaghetti here made with squid ink. And then I have a little bit of high-quality olive oil, a little white wine, and then a little semolina flour. I have my pasta water ripping in the back. I added some of the semolina flour to it, thicken the pasta water and season it. I seasoned it with salt as well. Not too much, just a little bit. What adding the semolina to the water is going to do, is when you're taking that water and putting it into your pasta sauce, it's going to thicken and emulsify better with the oil. And it's going to coat the pasta really nicely and have a nice texture in your mouth.

[Sean moves to cooking range]

So, we're going to start by ripping this pan. Take our high-quality olive oil, put a little bit of that in the pan. And since it's spaghetti aglio e olio, you're going to actually put a little bit more than you would normally. Now, we are going to add our garlic with a little bit of shallot. We're going to slightly caramelize it. I don't like to caramelize these two components heavily, but I do like to have it flavor and season the oil. I like to temper it, take the pan off the heat every so often. See, you see it starting to sizzle. I like to take it off the heat at this point, and I like to season the oil. So, the salt actually clings to the garlic and the shallot. Once we're at this point, I'm going to take the anchovy. There's a little bit of the anchovy oil here as well. I'm just going to put that in and infuse it all together.

[Sean shakes the pan vigorously]

The reason why I decided to use the squid ink pasta is because we incorporated anchovy into this sauce, so I wanted to play along with the seafood theme.

>>Speaker 2:

That's insane.

>> Sean: Usually when you have dried pasta, there's always a time for cooking to al dente. So, this one is 10 minutes. I'm going to toss that in. Actually, I'm going to set a timer for nine minutes, and we'll see. We're going to add our fresh chiles, depending on how spicy you want it. Maybe like that. It's all about controlling the heat so we don't get it to brown and caramelized. This isn't traditional, but once this is heated up enough, we're going to add white wine to it. I find adding white wine to this pasta sauce is really nice, because when it cooks and it simmers out, it's actually adds a lot of sweetness and acidity to the dish. So, it balances it out. And now that we're ripping here like this, I'm going to add the white wine. The roasted red pepper juice, I'm going to add a little bit of that to there too. Roasted red pepper juice is something that everybody should have in their pantry or their fridge. It's a staple. No, I'm just kidding. It was just something that we had taking around the restaurant here, so we used it.

But honestly, build this off of whatever you have. You can just change it all the time, flavor it however you want. But the main staple ingredients for this is olive oil, pasta water, garlic, and you can build it off of that. 

[Sean adding salt. Close shot of the cooking pasta sauce. Sean wipes cooktop.]

There. All right, so now, there's only a couple of minutes left on the cooking the pasta. Just look, the other nice thing, I'm going to start adding some pasta water to it. Start building the sauce. Now, it's just a starch water. As you can see, it's starting to thicken a little bit, come together. And then what we're going to do is, we're going to cook the pasta before al dente, we're going to throw it into the pan and cook it about 15% in the actual sauce, so it starts soaking up that sauce and that flavor into the noodle. That's why I love cooking with dry pasta because you have the ability to trap all those flavors inside of the noodle.

>>Speaker 2: Yeah. It's more my style.

[Sean tastes a noodle]

>> Sean: Good. Wow. All right. Now, we're going to take our noodles. We're going to add some to the sauce.

[Sean ladles black pasta into the pan. He shakes and stirs the noodles. Close shot of noodles simmering in the sauce]

We're going to take a hard cheese, like a parm or a pecorino, and add it into the sauce once it's getting thick and coating the noodle. As you can see, if you take a look here, it's starting to thicken up, the sauce. Now the pasta's almost at al dente. I'm going to keep stirring it.

[Sean grates cheese onto the pasta]

I'm going to stir it together. It's going to thicken the sauce and flavor the noodle. The sauce is thick in the bottom of the pan. It's going to cling to the noodle. At this point, lemon zest…

[Sean grates lemon onto pasta]

Sean: …making sure not to get the pith, that bitterness. Parsley.

>>Speaker 2: Wow.

[Sean rolls noodles with chopsticks to place on a plate. He garnishes with sauce and more cheese]

>> Sean: It's dope. All right, so here is our spaghetti aglio e olio. It's really easy, straight forward. You can do whatever rendition you want of it. You can make it in under 15 minutes with all of the prepping included. It's super tasty and simple.

[Sean takes a bite of the pasta]

[Sean is out of the kitchen and back in the restaurant speaking to camera]

And there you have it, a simple, quick, and easy spaghetti aglio e olio, done a little bit more seafood forward. I'd like to thank Simplii Financial for partnering with me on this video. And I hope everybody is staying safe, and happy, and healthy. I know it's been tough times, and I hope everybody makes it out of this pandemic all right. Thanks for watching, everyone. Take care.