My Thug Kitchen Inspired One Pot Spaghetti 

My turn to make dinner tonight so where do I turn for inspiration? To my Thug Kitchen 101 cookbook, of course. 

Thug Kitchen 101
One Pot Spaghetti

I love the flavours from their Skillet Beer Chili Mac – a one pot mac and cheese with beer and black beans recipe so I used that as a starting point for dinner this evening.

I put a Dutch oven with some grapeseed oil on a hot element and then added three finely diced onions to the pot. I let them sauté until they had softened up and then added some slices of yellow and red peppers to the pot. Once they were cooked down a bit I added in the spices; smoked paprika, chilli powder, and a little curry powder.

I let that heat up so the flavours of the spices could bloom and then I added three cups of veggie stock and a jar of tomato sauce. A little time to heat that up and then I put in the spaghetti. Brought it to a boil, reduced the heat so the spaghetti could cook, and left it cooking for about ten minutes.

Once the spaghetti noodles were cooked to al dente I removed the pot from the heat and folded in a quarter cup of nutritional yeast to give the pasta a cheese, nutty flavour.

And then just before serving the pasta I added a can of black beans to the pot of pasta. Of course before using the black beans I dumped them into a strainer and thoroughly rinsed them.

The good news? In less than half an hour I had dinner on the table and the one pot spaghetti was delicious, the kids enjoyed it, and I only had one pot to clean after dinner. Another winner inspired by the Thug Kitchen 101 cookbook.

My Return to Trattoria Burnaby

Friday afternoon I went for an early dinner to Trattoria Burnaby. I had recently been to Trattoria Burnaby for a business meeting but I wanted to go with some family to sample a wider variety of items from the menu.

I don’t often mention restaurant servers (some of the hardest working people in the restaurant business) but Jennifer, our server at Trattoria Burnaby deserves a special mention. Shortly after being seated Jennifer arrived and began to answer our countless questions about the menu.

She willingly answered our endless questions with a smile and a “sure, we can do that!” attitude and never said, “Umm, you are ordering enough food for three tables!”

Antipasti Plate
Antipasti Plate

Once we had studied the Trattoria Burnaby menu, we ordered a couple of antipasti plates to share at our table. The above photo is the Burrata & Prosciutto plate for $16.95.

The burrata and prosciutto were both beautiful. The ultra creamy burrata was great!

Both of the plates were very generous portions and we were more than impressed with the amount of food on each antipasti plate as well as the quality of the food.

Antipasti Plate
Antipasti Plate

The second plate we had was the prosciutto di parma, pesto, marinated tomatoes, and forno bread with beef carpaccio for $13.95.

With this plate I would just roll up a piece of the beef carpaccio with the arugula greens and creamy cheese inside it. Delightful.

After our antipasti plates, we also had two side dishes.

The roasted brussels sprouts for $7.95 were truly amazing. Smoky and sweet and just plain delicious. Unfortunately they do not photograph very well so I have not included a photo of them. Some people may find the dish a little too smoky, but I loved it.

Roasted Vegetables
Roasted Vegetables

The other side dish we had was the Forno Roasted Vegetables for $7.95.  The carrots, fennel, squash, and other roasted root vegetables were done with a maple thyme dressing.

They were roasted to an exquisite softness and the sweetness of maple on the carrots, shallots, and fingerling potatoes popped perfectly. They were plated on a bed of arugula in a cast iron pan. This is a dish I would definitely order again.

Kid's Spaghetti
Kid’s Spaghetti

We also ordered three pasta dishes. My daughter had the Spaghetti Bolognese with a tangy tomato meat sauce for $7.95 from the “bambini menu”. It was a very generous portion for the price and really is a great value.

Signature Meatballs
Signature Meatballs

Seeing as they are the “signature meatballs” how could we not try them again? Same as my previous experience – awesome. Not too dense nor meaty.

We also wanted to try the gluten-free pasta – a penne noodle made with corn and rice flour.

Gluten Free Penne
Gluten Free Penne

We had the gluten free penne noodles with the herb roasted chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, peas, chicken broth. The noodles were very good. All too often gluten free noodles are chewy, even rubbery. Not at Trattoria Burnaby. In a blind taste test you would be hard pressed to know whether you were eating gluten free penne or a regular penne noodle.

The picture doesn’t do this dish justice! It was also a very generous serving and we ended up taking most of it home. There were many chunks of the roasted chicken.

Braised Ribs
Braised Ribs on Pappardelle pre-parmesan

The dish I chose was the Short Rib Pappardelle for $18.95. This is a relatively expensive pasta dish but wow was it incredible. The large pieces of braised short ribs, pine nuts, wild mushrooms on the wide, flat noodles really “worked” for me. I would definitely order this dish again!


All of the pasta dishes were generous and more than filling but not overwhelmingly large like Anton’s serves.

I had heard from friends that the Trattoria Burnaby kitchen had some issues with the timing of dishes. Yesterday I was very impressed with the way the kitchen was able to manage and get our eclectic choices of dishes to our table as we wanted them to arrive.

Yes, we did order a lot of food. We did this intentionally because we wanted to try a variety of the menu items.

Flourless Chocolate Torte
Flourless Chocolate Torte

To finish our meal we had the flourless chocolate torte.

I only had a small taste of this dessert because my daughter dove into it and devoured it before I could get much of a taste of it. What I had did taste wonderful – the centre of the chocolate torte had a very creamy caramel filling.

Mango and Blackberry Gelato
Mango and Blackberry Gelato

My daughter wanted a gelato and she couldn’t decide between two of the fruit flavours – mango and blackberry. Our server, Jennifer said no problem, and she brought us a cute little cup with two small scoops – mango and the blackberry. Both were extraordinarily good with strong, real fruit flavour.

I will definitely be returning to Trattoria Burnaby. I was very impressed with Jennifer, the server and the kitchen staff. In fact the entire staff made us feel very welcome and were able to meet all of our dining needs happily and cheerfully.

I will return and have no hesitation in recommending Trattoria Burnaby.?

Trattoria Burnaby, part of the Glowbal Group of restaurants is located at 4501 Kingsway near the corner of Kingsway and WIllingdon Ave, across the street from the Crystal Mall.