Gary and I saw “Chef” earlier this week in a special screening, the new film opening tomorrow written, directed and staring Jon Favreau about a disgruntled chef and his how he reclaims his culinary voice. I will have a spot up tomorrow on D Magazine/SideDish about my thoughts on the film, but last night I was inspired by one of the dishes created for the Chef’s sultry hostess as a proposed aphrodisiac to a romantic evening…the chef cooking for his adoring fan. Simple, fresh, clean flavors that on film looked so delicious I had to recreate for the one I love, and some friends we had over for dinner, serving this as our 2nd course. We opened a light and young Barbera d’Asti from Ricossa to pair last night…perfect.
Angel Hair with Garlic, Parsley and Olive Oil
10 ounces angel hair pasta
1/2 cup olive oil + a drizzle for the pasta water (use good olive oil for this)
1 shallot, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch parsley, chopped very fine
1 lemon, zested and cut in half
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 ladles pasta water
Parmesan cheese, shaved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fill a stock pot with water and salt liberally (pasta water should taste like the sea.) Bring to a boil and add the pasta. The pasta should take about 7-9 minutes to cook…angle hair cooks pretty fast. Stir occasionally. When you have about 4 minutes left on the cooking heat a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic and shallot. Cook until they are softened and aromatic, but not burning, stirring often. Add 3/4 of the parsley (keep a bit for garnish), red pepper, capers, zest, lemon juice, white wine and a healthy dash of freshly grated black pepper.
Cook for another minute or two then add the pasta water and carefully add the pasta, making sure it is al dente, or a touch under-done – we pulled the pasta out of the cooking water with tongs, but you can also drain it and then drop it into the sauce. Cook for another two minutes, stirring together to fully coat the pasta in the sauce. Check seasonings, the capers and pasta water should flavor with enough salt, but you may want to add a touch more pepper. Plate either for 8 individual servings or can easily make two large servings or four mid-size. Top each plate with Parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley. Serve hot.