This year the famous Mezza Luna Cooking School - created and run by Stefano Faita's mom, Elena Faita - celebrated its 20th anniversary. It's located in the Little Italy part of Montreal, where the the Faita family has also been running the Dante kitchenware and hunting supply store since 1956, and where Stefano plans to open his first restaurant, Impasto, this summer.
The host of In the Kitchen With Stefano Faita invited us into the family cooking school to meet his mom, the woman who inspired his love of cooking and teaching and also taught him a keen business sense.
"When he was a little kid, he used to be on the counter, watching me cook," Elena told us. Now she takes pride in the fact that the eldest of Stefano's two daughters "is always after him and we see the third generation - like, I see my granddaughter - loves to cook."
A big part of the family philosophy is the importance of making food at home using fresh, local ingredients. In honour of Mother's Day, Stefano and Elena shared a favourite family recipe for a classic Puttanesca Pasta, which they selected because it's so easy that anyone can make it at home for - or with - their mom today.
Watch the video :
Here's a recap of the recipe:
1/2 cup olive oil
4-5 Anchovies soaked in oil
2 chili peppers
3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of black olives
1 handful of capers
3/4 can of diced tomatoes
1 handful of Italian parsley
Spaghetti à la guitare
Chop chilis, garlic, black olives, capers and parsley.
Heat olive oil to a low temperature.
Add anchovies and slowly break them apart with a fork to create a pureé.
Increase heat and add chopped garlic and chili peppers.
Add one handful each of chopped capers and black olives.