Tag Archive for pasta

Rapini and Barlotti Bean Pasta (with @PastaBoyPeter)

I am lucky enough to have surrounded myself, in this city, with some great people: good friends, and good foodies. Sometimes those lines cross, and those who  were already good foodies became great friends. 

My buddy Peter Ciuffa (aka @pastaboypeter) fits into both categories. Even though Peter was born in Calgary, he is what I would consider to be old-school Italian. He learned all the traditional cooking techniques from his mother and his grandmother, and now teaches classes here in Vancouver, showing others how to do the same. 

Rapini and Barlotti Bean Pasta Dyson

Image by Dyson Media

We were lucky enough to find a spare morning a few weeks back where both of us were free to shoot a cooking video. 

Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve done this… and shooting with Peter is always a very organic, fun affair with lots of jokes and laughs, ending in a delicious meal. 

I put Peter in charge of the food, my only request was that the dish be vegetarian (this dish is actually vegan if you leave off the cheese at the end, or sub out vegan parm). The end result was a fantastic, comforting pasta dish that comes together in just a few minutes.

Big shout-out here to Jeremy Dyson of Dyson Media, who shot and edited this together for us. It was no easy task, but the end result looks so much better than anything I could have done solo. 

Don’t forget–eat with those you love! 

Rapini and Barlotti Bean Pasta

Rapini and Barlotti Bean Pasta


  • 200 g pasta (we used penne)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4–1/2 tsp pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 bunch broccoli rape or rapini (bitter greens)
  • 1 can barlotti or cannelini or navy beans
  • 1/2 lemon
  • grated parmesan (optional)
  • salt and pepper
Rebecca Coleman & PastaBoyPeter

Is it even a dish if you don’t Instagram it??


  1. Generously salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, though you want to pull the pasta out when it is still slightly undercooked, or al dente. 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, bring a second pot of salted water the boil, and add the rapini. Cook it until wilted and the stems are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Pull from the boiling water and place immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process. 
  3. In a large frying pan or dutch oven, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add some salt and the roughly chopped garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add pepper flakes to taste. 
  4. Next, add in the beans, having drained them (and save the aquafaba!!). Stir well and toss and coat with the oil. Allow them to cook down until they start to pop open and release the starches. 
  5. Next add the cooked and drained rapini, and stir well. 
  6. Drain the pasta, but be sure to save some of the pasta water on the side. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well, adding additional olive oil or pasta water if needed to make a proper sauce. 
  7. Finish with a grating of lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon, and a garnish of grated parmesan cheese. 

Back to School Healthy–Dinner

Oh, Dinner. It’s dinner that’s the most difficult.

Picture this: you pick your kid up from school, and drive him to his after-school activity. You’ve been smart enough to pack him a snack he can eat in the backseat as you drive there and talk about your day. Or maybe you have enough of a gap that you get the chance to stop at a coffee shop for a treat. He does his activity, you work on your laptop. He finishes, you drive home, and walk in the door. It’s already pushing 6 pm, and you have to make dinner, feed the kid, finish homework, get him a bath, prep for tomorrow…

It’s enough to make you want to curl up in a ball, no?


back to school healthy

I’m a single parent, so I don’t have anyone at home starting dinner for me. I’m sure many of you, partnered or not, are in the same situation. I don’t want to fall into desperate drive-through mode, or processed freezer meals. I want fast, but I also want homemade and healthy.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you through the most dangerous meal of the day.

SavingDinner.com: this is a subscription service that makes making dinner a snap. Every week, you get a downloadable file with a full grocery list, a list of the dinners for that week, and all the recipes. It’s a great way to try new things, and all the recipes are healthy. You can choose Paleo or Vegetarian streams, as well. The thing I like best about this subscription, though, is the daily blog posts. They are really useful and informative. Check it out!

Slow Cooker: I love, love, love my slow cooker. You put the ingredients in it in the morning before you leave, and you come home to dinner. Here are some back to school, kid-friendly slow cooker recipes.

Pizza night! Like many 11-year-olds, the sprout loves pizza. We have it once a week, usually Thursdays, which are our craziest nights. I set my oven timer so that the oven is already pre-heated when we walk in the door. I either buy frozen spinach pizzas, or plain cheese, and we put our own veggies and toppings on there. You can also make your own homemade frozen pizzas.

Stir-frys: You can prep your veg on the weekend, or buy a stir-fry mix. We add in a little smoked tofu, but you could do chicken or beef. I pre-cook my grains (rice, quinoa or barley) on the weekend, and freeze them in ziplocs. All you have to do is cook up your protein and veg, add a sauce, and dinner!

Pasta: The sprout is a big fan. Pasta is fast, easy, and is one of those dishes you won’t miss the meat in (or you can add it in easily). I make my own pasta sauce in the slow cooker and freeze it, I also make trays of mac ‘n’ cheese and freeze them. Add a salad, and you’re done!

Protein + Salad: M is a big fan of the Caesar Salad. I make my own croutons, and I prep the lettuce on the weekend (store it in mason jars in the fridge–similar to salad in a jar). You can simply fry up some fish (we like salmon), chicken or a simple steak, and serve it alongside a salad, which takes moments to make.

So there you have it! Hope these tips and tricks and recipes will help you to be more organized, and more healthy for back to school. I finally have a fridge again (or I will by tomorrow), so I can go back to recipe posts next week! 


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