Monday, January 10, 2011

NYC vodka arrabbiata

I knew when I was flipping through Jamie Oliver’s new book Jamie’s America that I was going to have multiple recipes waiting to be made. This is one of the first that I just couldn’t pass on. 
I never seem to run out of Vodka. Don’t ask why. The bottles are not mine. So this recipe was a good way to make use of that. I was excited for this because it’s a simple dish. I love simple dishes that are packed full of flavor. If you don’t like chili then you should skip this recipe because this was HOT. Or you could maybe lessen the amount of chili but then it won’t be traditional arrabbiata. Italian Arrabbiata sauce should be full of chili and garlic and tomatoes. This dish had them all with a splash of vodka.

And have I mentioned how much I love Italian Parsley? It’s my favorite herb after cilantro and dill and oregano and sage and thyme and basil and etc :) I love how fragrant it is and really gives a dish that extra flavor. So if I were you, I wouldn’t skip on the parsley because it gives a freshness to this dish.
If you’re looking for a good and easy pasta recipe, I think you’ve just found it.
(P.S- Do not confuse Italian Parsley also known as Flat Leaf Parsley for English Parsley also known as Curly Leaf Parsley, both have completely different flavors, personally I’m not a fan of the English Parsley because it has a much milder flavor, I think it’s mostly used as a side garnish and in certain British dishes)

NYC Vodka Arrabbiata
from Jamie’s America by Jamie Oliver

4 fresh red chillies
6 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets
400g tin chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 shots vodka
500g spaghetti
1 lemon
optional: extra virgin olive oil

Prick the chillies 6 to 8 times with a small sharp knife. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and chillies and let them cook slowly for 5 minutes. 

Turn the heat up to high and add the garlic, parsley stalks and anchovies. Keep moving everything around the pan, and when the garlic starts to take on some color, add the tinned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to the boil, add the vodka, and turn the heat down so the sauce simmers. Gently bash up you chillies with a wooden spoon to release more of their flavor into the sauce.

Add your pasta to a pan of boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain in a colander, then toss the pasta in the sauce. Divide between bowls or serve on a big platter. Roughly chop the reserved parsley leaves and sprinkle them over your pasta. Finely grate the lemon zest over the top, then squeeze in the juice, making sure you catch any seeds in your hands. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to finish it off, and serve immediately.

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