Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scarpetta Spaghetti Recipe

Only in New York will you find a $26 burger (Minetta Tavern), $1,000 ice cream sundae (Serendipity 3), $10 grilled cheese sandwich (Morris Grilled Cheese Truck), and $24 spaghetti (Scarpetta).  Scarpetta's spaghetti is life changing - the beauty of the dish is in its simplicity: spaghetti, tomato sauce, and basil.  I came across (and modified) the following recipe from Food & Wine magazine (by Roy Choi) that attempted to recreate Scarpetta's recipe.  I love his addition of a mushroom stock and pureeing the fried garlic to make the flavor of the tomato sauce complex (its a far cry from sacrilegious Prego or Ragu).  

4oz - White Button Mushrooms (thinly sliced) 
2 heads - Garlic Cloves (peeled) 
2/3 cup - Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 
2 - 28oz  San Marzano Tomatoes (whole)
16oz - Spaghetti
Kosher Salt

(freshly ground)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Basil Leaves (torn)
Parmigiano-Reggiano (
Freshly grated) 
1) In a saucepan, bring the mushrooms and 3 cups of water to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for one hour until the broth is reduced to 1 cup. Strain and discard the mushrooms.
2) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the garlic and olive oil to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden for 30 minutes.
3) In a stock pot, bring the tomatoes and the garlic and oil to a boil. Add the mushroom broth and use an immersion/hand blender to puree the sauce until smooth (if you don't have an immersion blender, in small batches, us a blender and hold the top of the blender with a kitchen tower to prevent the top from exploding on your kitchen wall). Bring the sauce back to a boil and simmer over moderately low heat for 1 hour. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. 
4) Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot. Add 2 1/2 cups of the sauce and cook / toss for 1 minute. Transfer the spaghetti to bowls, top with basil, and serve with grated cheese. Mangia!

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