Of course, it's been another horrible day at the office. Going out takes effort and money- but instant gratification is incredibly appealing. After all, most people want to eat when they want to eat- not wait an hour to make a roast in the oven. Here is a great video of Gordon Ramsay preparing fresh food fast- linguine with tomatoes, olives, and capers.
Anchovies- how could Stash drop the same bomb twice in one week on us? Let me tell you, he does it with great joy. I like to think I'm making the world a better place here- regardless of any delusions of grandeur. Not adding anchovies will not break the dish. Doing so also makes this a fine option for vegetarians. If the dish isn't substantial enough, add grilled chicken on top for protein and continued healthy choices This is another dish where I like to substitute sambal oelek for chilies.
I hope you paid attention at the 4:00 mark- this is great technique for making any sauce stick to pasta. The oil emulsion is key to making any kind of sauce stick. Also, watch the video to hear Gordon explain why he uses the ingredients he does, the order he uses them, and the technique- his knife work on basil is outstanding. This video demonstrates an excellent method to making pasta and sauce- many different interpretations can be made from here. In the spirit of, the following is my own interpretation. It uses my favorite chewy noodle, linguine, and has the same saltiness from the capers, sweetness from carrot, extra heat from the sambal, but is cooled off with the refreshment of lemon.
Stash's Back Pocket Linguine
- 8oz fresh linguine or enough dried pasta to fill in the 'O' when making the 'OK' symbol with your hand
- 1 lemon, peel
- 1 carrot, ribbons
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 heaping spoonfuls sambal oelek
- 3 TBL balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 Cup capers with liquid
- 1/4 Cup starchy pasta water
- 1 Cup small tomatoes (grape, cherry, or even grape-cherry hybrid), halved
- 1/2 lb pounded chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Preheat the broiler on high for the chicken.
- Bring water to boil for pasta- don't add salt or oil until the water has hit the boiling point.
- Salt and pepper the chicken breast on both sides, cook for 6 minutes per side. When done, let it rest in foil- the rest of the dish should be prepared in this amount of time.
- Put a saute pan on medium high heat and add 2 TBL of olive oil. Add the diced shallot and carrot. Cook to caramelize until the carrot begins to darken slightly.
- Add the tomatoes. Don't worry about adding more oil, the goal is to blister the skin and make the tomatoes pop.
- Deglaze the bottom of the pan with balsamic vinegar, then add the capers with some liquid. Add the sambal oelek.
- Let everything cook down for a couple minutes. Add the peel of lemon. Add the pasta water when available. Taste for salt, the capers and their liquid add a lot of sodium, so there should not be much neeeded.
- When the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan of sauce and stir well.
- Place the pasta on a serving plate. Slice the chicken into strips and place on top.
The carrot is my favorite part of the dish- my attempt to be avant-garde. When mixing vegetables in soups and pastas, it is important to consider how to cut them. In soup, you never want a vegetable that wont fit conveniently in a spoon. Likewise in pasta, you want something that can be easily stabbed with a fork. This greatly limits creativity. So I thought, how can I get a vegetable to twirl on a fork like the pasta? After cleaning the carrot, if I continue to use the peeler, I can make carrot 'noodles.' These are fairly substantial, integrate extremely well with the pasta, and when caramelized add a very distinct sweetness. I also use this technique when making marinara for spaghetti, and for pickling carrots.
This is one of the few times where I don't use a micro plane to get citrus zest. I want big chunks of fruit in the dish. It's crazy, I know, but, the flavor cuts through the dish beautifully. Orange peel makes a good substitute.
Other things I've added to this include brussel sprouts, marinated artichoke quarters, golden raisins, and olives. All are equally delicious.
Give it a go and remember, there are no more excuses on work nights!