I've been itching to try this spicy pasta for a while, and I finally decided to take a stab at it. Now, as much as I'd like to claim this idea as my own, it's not. This is a variation of Chef John's "Hot Wheels Pasta" over at Food Wishes. If you like cooking and/or reading food blogs, you can't do much better than Chef John's recipes, all of which are creative and inexplicable in their gratuitous use of cayenne. Except for this one, which is so hot that a shake of cayenne just might send it over the edge.
So here's Chef John's concept: a hot pasta dish comprised almost entirely of wheel-shaped ingredients. He uses rotelle, or "wagon wheel" pasta, sliced green onion rings, sliced zucchini, and rings from a variety of sweet and spicy peppers, all cooked in a mixture of tomato sauce and stock. Always eager to try new pasta recipes--and always financially constrained to the point of eating nothing but pasta at least four nights a week--I couldn't wait to give it a try. Follow me below the decidedly not wheel-shaped fleur-de-Kos...
But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:
|Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to email@example.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in
Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The
Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...
Okay, so to start, I needed some tomato sauce. I could have bought my favorite leading sauce brand, but I had San Marzano tomatoes and some time, so I decided to make a batch of homemade sauce. You know, I was once told on here that I made a "terrible" sauce because I guess the way my family always made it doesn't compete with everybody's Italian grandmother's. I'm going to stand by my family's trashy sauce, but just to show that I can make something more traditional, here you go. It's just some hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. I'm reserving 2 cups for the pasta and enjoying the rest later.
All of this comes together very quickly. Boil the pasta a minute less than the directions say in generously salted water. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the shallot. Chef John uses an anchovy filet when sweating his onions, but I'm skipping that and just adding a little salt. Then, add the garlic and cook another minute.