Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The devil came with the pasta

January swept in with a cold clarity that brought out all the yearning for heavy, succulent dishes. Aren't we supposed to be eating 'clean' this time of year? Instead, my longing to eat well butts up against the need to cook things that will be eaten with gusto. Why can't we salivate at the thought of a cool, crisp salad? Maybe in July when sweat is trickling down my back just by stepping outdoors...but in January? I wish.

My son, still home until the weekend until he heads back to that cold apple of a city, said he wanted spaghetti....spicy. I like spicy. I clicked open Pinterest and proceeded to do a search and per usual, got five thousand versions of spicy spaghetti. I went with one titled Fra Diavolo which translates as 'Brother Devil' and holy red pepper did the name fit. The only pepper it called for WAS red pepper flakes. As the sauce was reducing and the pasta simmering I was excited to taste. I like nothing better than trying something different especially when I was cooked out from all the holiday gatherings. 

Pasta. Garlic bread. Bliss.
The sauce was blazing and everyone's taste buds were set on fire.
That delicious kind of fire.

As follows is the recipe take from the delicious blog Baker by Nature. I did add a pound of fried ground beef to the sauce. I made a special run to Doughty Valley Meats to buy it because there is no other ground beef. That being said, my husband did say to cut the heat by half next time. My son said add more. Shall we meet somewhere in the middle? 

Simple Spaghetti Fra Diavolo

Simple Spaghetti Fra Diavolo 
2/3 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic, sliced very thin or minced
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (add a little more if you really like the spice!)
2 1/2 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound of spaghetti, cooked al dente
Fill a large stock pot with water and salt and place over a medium-high flame; bring to a rolling boil and add spaghetti; cook for 5-6 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente. Drain and add to pasta.
While your pasta is cooking, make your sauce!
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and just starting to turn golden. Add crushed red pepper, and stir. Add tomato puree, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Let cook for 8 minutes – stirring occasionally – or until the oil beings to rise and separate from the tomato puree. Mix in fresh herbs, salt, and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Once pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the sauce and and stir to coat the noodles. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and let pasta cook in the sauce for 2-3 minutes.
Serve pasta with cheese, and eat at once!