Saturday, July 21, 2007

Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce

I recently purchased Giada De Laurentis' cookbook Everyday Pasta. I really enjoy her show and have been working my way through the cookbook. I have already found several favorite recipes including Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and Parmesan Crisps, Tuna, Green Bean and Orzo Salad, Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese, Cheesy Baked Tortellini, and Penne with Beef and Arugula. I've also made several of Giada's recipe from the food network site and they have been delicious too. Unfortunately, the recipe I tried for the Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce was not a keeper. The flavors of the dish were too strong together and the result was a very salty pasta that seemed to taste saltier the more you ate. All in all, this dish is not recommended. I look forward to trying more recipes from the book and hopefully they will be wonderful as the others I have tried were. Here is the recipe:

Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 dried bay leaf
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, minced
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

In a large casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrot and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add 1 cup water if the sauce gets too thick. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Place the minced anchovies, and some of their oil in a medium, heavy skillet. Stir over medium heat until the anchovies melt, about 2 minutes. Add the olives, capers, remaining 1/4 tsp pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute until the olives are heated through about 2 minutes. Stir the olive mixture into the sauce and simmer over medium heat until the flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Season with more salt to taste.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until tender but still firm tot he bite, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the penne to the sauce and toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten. Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

No comments: