Monday, August 16, 2010

0 Recipe #164: Fettuccine in a Spicy White Sauce

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This recipe is for all the spicy food lovers out there.... Next time you think about making arrabiata sauce as the usual go-to pasta dish, try this recipe instead. It's just as spicy & flavorful, but is a refreshing alternative to other spicy (pasta) dishes. It goes nicely over seafood, or can stand alone in its own right.

Fettuccine in a Spicy White Sauce

1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced crosswise into small rounds (about 2 small scallions)
1/2 Tbsp. jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribbed, & finely minced (about 1/2 small jalapeño pepper)
2 servings dry, uncooked fettuccine (measure with spaghetti measure)
3-4 c. lightly salted water, seasoned with a dab of extra virgin olive oil (to keep pasta from sticking together)
1 c. dry white wine (I used Orvieto, a dry, semi-sweet wine from Umbria, Italy)
1 large fresh bay leaf
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped & tightly packed
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves, roughly chopped & tightly packed
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped & tightly packed
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, tightly packed
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 c. (Monterey) Pepper Jack cheese, shredded & melted, mixed through
1/4 c. freshly shredded Parmegiano-Regiano cheese, sprinkled on top
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sweet peperoncini (banana peppers) (about 2 medium-sized peppers)
1 Tbsp. pignoli/pine nuts, lightly toasted

Directions: In a large (12-13") sauté pan, sauté scallions & jalapeño pepper in olive oil on low heat until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While vegetables are cooking, make pasta: Bring medium-sized pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat & drain. Transfer to colander, shock with cold water, & drain again. Divide pasta into 2 equal portions, transfer to bowls, & set aside.

After vegetables have adequately softened, deglaze the pan with white wine, adding 1/2 c. at a time, making sure that each addition is absorbed before adding more. While deglazing, add bay leaf and all fresh spices. Quickly stir in fettuccine & tomato paste and continue to cook, being careful not to burn pasta. Add cheese & butter, stirring until they've melted. Remove from heat, season with salt & pepper, stir in lemon juice & peperoncini, & sprinkle with pignoli/pine nuts. If desired, garnish with additional, diced jalapeño pepper (i.e., remaining 1/2 pepper) & additional basil. Serve.

Yield: 2 servings.

Variations: Add Gorgonzola cheese, either in addition to Pepper Jack or as a substitute for it. Mushrooms, olives, yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower, &/or red bell peppers could also be added to this dish. Or, just like arrabiata sauce, this recipe could also be served over shrimp, which is the traditional way to serve arrabiata sauce.

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