Friday, 20 March 2015

Racy and Spicy!

Tagliatelle con Sugo Veloce al Salami Piccante
Tagliatelle with a Quick Sauce made with Spicy Salami


If you were to ask me what I thought was the best thing about Italian food, it would be that it is so simple. That it is possible to make so many different dishes using the same basic ingredients over and over again- that is what makes it simply delicious.

Once you know a few basic techniques and have grasped the way that flavors and ingredients are combined and balanced together, you can improvise any number of wonderful dishes. Like this one.


The chili-infused, rich and salty salami is packed with flavor and spice- enough to make this plate of tagliatelle already unctuous and delicious. Combined with a basic "sofritto" to give the classic base to the sauce, with a little tomato purée to add depth and fruitiness and with oregano and basil in the mix... well! That is already a good way to get lots of classic Italian flavors going! With a touch of salted Ricotta, you have a nice hint of Southern influence- and in just the time it takes for the pasta to boil, you have a wonderful pasta dish that satisfy you completely... word!


So, for 2 restaurant-sized servings... or one "man-sized" serving, (hehe!), I needed: 5 tagliatelle nests, 1 onion, 1/2 of a carrot, 1/2 of a celery stalk, about a 3" chunk of spicy salami, 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, some fresh basil and a little salted Ricotta for grating.


Once all of those ingredients come together, are tossed together and then enjoyed together... there is no denying the wonder of what those few simple ingredients have become!


This may not be a "ragú alla Bolognese"- but it is rich and satisfying in a whole different way- and that is the great thing about pasta dishes- there is no end to the ways you can innovate and improvise something wonderful!


Basically, all you need to make this dish is the "holy trinity" that is: finely chopped carrot, celery and onion, otherwise known as "sofritto" in Italian cuisine. And the finer it is chopped, the better! The same goes for the salami- but you only need a little of each and well worth the effort.

Once you have your ingredients chopped up finely, you can start your water boiling for the pasta... and let the games begin!


Simply fry the sofritto together with the salami- with no added oil of course- soon everything will be coated in the salami's own hot and spicy fat and begin smelling, looking (and tasting!) wonderful together.


After 2-3 minutes, add the tomato purée and the oregano and stir everything together.


After the pasta has boiled for just 4 minutes, add it to the frying pan and add some of the water it has boiled in, Stir everything together and keep adding the water a little at a time, as you would with a risotto.

Soon, those ingredients will transform, together with the tomato purée and the starch in the water, into a lovely sauce, right before your eyes... and after 4-5 minutes of stirring and adding a little water at a time, the tagliatelle will be rich and tasty, hot and spicy... and totally delicious! And yes of course... ready to be served up straight away!


It was hot and spicy enough to not need any extra pepper, but a dusting of salted ricotta made it extra yummy- and the basil was pretty... but more importantly so- just perfect to pluck apart and stir into the pasta before eating!


And of course, stirring everything together is a lot of fun! Just... make sure you are not wearing a white shirt! hahaha!


Yum, yum and thrice yum! And... my lips are still tingling! That spicy salami is such a wonderful ingredient for cooking with!

Would anybody care to share?

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