Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Pasta for Tony, and a Video!

This month's Cook the Books book club selection was Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential.
I have a confession to make - I was fully prepared not to like this book. I had read Waiter Rant a couple of months ago, a book that had been compared to Kitchen Confidential, and I could not stand it. Waiter Rant made me never want to go to a restaurant again, especially one with waiters. But Kitchen Confidential was well written and exciting, portraying cooks as wild pirates - a vision I will definitely carry with me.
We were given the opportunity to cook something inspired by the book. This was a tough decision, Tony is famous for his extreme food choices. In the end it was my fabulous blogging gal pal Deb who suggested that I make some of the home comfort food that he mentions longing for in the first half of the book. So Anthony, this is for you. A simple Pasta Pomodoro, made with love.
From Kitchen Confidential:
On my day off, I rarely want to eat restaurant food unless I'm looking for new ideas or recipes to steal. What I want to eat is home cooking, sombody's-anybody's-mother's or grandmother's food. A simple pasta pomodoro made with love, a clumsily thrown together tuna casserole, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, all of this is pure exotica to me, even when I've been neck deep all day in filet mignon and herb-infused oils and all the bits of business we do to distinguish restaurant food from what you get at home.

Pasta Pomodoro
All Recipes
INGREDIENTS (I doubled the sauce, and recommend it highly)
2 (8 ounce) packages angel hair pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (10.75 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
crushed red pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Pour olive oil in a large deep skillet over high-heat. Saute onions and garlic until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-high and add tomatoes, vinegar and chicken broth; simmer for about 8 minutes.
Stir in red pepper, black pepper, basil and cooked pasta, tossing thoroughly with sauce. Simmer for about 5 more minutes and serve topped with grated cheese.

My changes:
I doubled the sauce and used fresh, homemade egg pasta with some dried basil right in the dough. I used the finest setting on my KitchenAid pasta rollers to get an angel hair type thickness.
While making the sauce, I added the hot pepper flakes in with the garlic and onions. I also added extra garlic to the tomatoes, to bring out the garlicky goodness.
Hubby BBQed some chicken breasts wrapped in bacon to go with the pasta. Dinner was wonderful. I love pasta, and I think Tony would like this as well. I know Tony has quit smoking since the birth of his child, but I think he still drinks - don't worry Tony, we have lots of wine.
And for your viewing enjoyment...
We have the latest video from Elephants in the Room
A comedy group starring my very talented son, Harry.

Harry even mentions me, mom! I wonder if he will still do that when he is famous...