Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cook: Scarpetta Inspired Tomato and Basil Pasta

This is one of J's recipe and it is AWESOME. This is seriously one of the most delicious pasta recipes that I've eaten.  The original can be found at Scarpetta Restaurant in Beverly Hills, but J's version is pretty close.  J derived his recipe from this Serious Eats post, and this Grubstreet post.  
  • Roma Tomatoes (need at least 6-8 per person); 8 fresh tomatoes and a can of san marzano tomatoes works for a full package of spaghetti)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. In a pot of boiling water, blanch roma tomatoes until skins start to split, then douse in cold water and peel (core tomato and cut an X at the base before putting into the boiling water, leave in for 15 seconds, then remove into an icewater bath before peeling
  2. Halve/quarter the tomatoes lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, reserving the “seed juice”/liquid
  3. Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a saucepan until very hot but not smoking, then toss in the tomatoes, add some salt, mash with potato masher, heat on high until bubbling, then simmer for 45 min on low; skim off excess water.  If too thick add seed reserve juices
  4. While tomatoes are simmering, prepare infused oil (see below)
  5. Add the infused oil to simmering tomatoes. 
  6. Cook spaghetti until just short of al dente, then add to the sauté pan along with a small bit of the pasta water (to help the sauce adhere) and finish to al dente, add some fresh slivers of basil (chiffonade)  Can also add a small pat of butter to the pan, turn the heat off, add grated paremesan, toss, salt and pepper to taste
Infused oil:
In a small saucepan, mix fresh garlic (8 cloves), basil (good handful) and red pepper flakes in ¼ cup of olive oil under (very) low heat until it starts to slowly boil, about 25 min later.  Strain the oil and add to the tomatoes, transfer to large saute/frying pan, continue to simmer

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