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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Burnt Garlic Ain't Good

 It's a big help when making a new recipe for the first time to read it all the way through.The first lesson I always forget when cooking is to read the recipe all the way through the first time.I have on the other hand gotten a little more prepared,namely because of this blog,I now have all my ingredients ready before I begin preparing a recipe.
Ok well really I remember most of the time to read the whole recipe start to finish but on those rare occasions,oh say a weeknight when we both need to be in bed early and you read the recipe halfway through preparation that the sauce takes an hour or so to cook,oh brother.A quick glance to the clock on the wall and a quick sympathy glance to my hungry husband and we're going to have a tasty,a bit tardy dinner.But darnit it's gonna be tasty I hope.
The theme for this week with the IHCC group was "Using Your Noodle",ha ! I chose Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce from Giada de Laurentiis"s cookbook, Everyday Pasta .It was a wonderful choice of recipes and won the heart of that sympathetic husband of mine. Thank heavens.It was a fairly easy recipe and packed some rich flavors in that spicy tomato sauce.We loved it and I hope you will too! Here's how it all went down:
 Heat up some olive oil in a large casserole or Dutch oven,add the onion and garlic AND don't walk away from that pot and look at delicious  blogs that could potentially catch your attention for an extended period of time.JUST DON"T DO IT. I did and it didn't turn out pretty.
 Then two minutes into those delightful blogs you remember to add the carrots,celery,salt and pepper.Ok kid stick with it. And then you figure I got a few seconds to kill,back to blogs.Just real quick. UH...HUH.
 This is what happens when you walk away from your pot cooking on the stove,burnt garlic. Burnt garlic ain't so good and well then you have to put on your big girl boots and fish or cut bait. Either quit now and eat ramen noodles or carefully wipe out the pot (thank you sympathetic and patient husband) and START OVER.I mean really...
 So moving along I have now started over: heat up the oil in your pot,soften your onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. DON'T WALK AWAY,TAKE ROOT IF YOU HAVE TO.  Then add in the carrots,celery,salt and pepper.Saute another 5-10 minutes until softened too.

Add in your tomatoes and bay leaf.At this point heat up a little skillet and add in the briney/salty goodness that makes this recipe shine.
 Add some minced anchovies ( I love anchovies,well just started to love.I fell for them in a homemade caesar dressing,it was love at first bite.mmmmm) and a little of their oil. Let them dissolve a little then add in the kalamata olives,capers,red pepper flakes and black pepper. Add them into the tomato sauce and let it simmer on low for an H-O-U-R or so.Hoooray for tasty late dinners.It was so worth it I tell ya.
At this point while you're waiting for the sauce to cook,get that pasta going in a big 'ol pot of boiling then salted water. After the pasta has cooked,save a little of the pasta water to loosen the tomato sauce if needed. Drain the pasta and add it to the anchovy/olive tomato sauce and stir to coat. Add in a little pasta water if needed. Then serve on a lovely plate and garnish with some chopped fresh parsley.Ta-da!
Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion,finely chopped
1 garlic clove,minced
1 celery stalk,finely chopped
1 carrot,peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt,plus more to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper,plus more to taste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes,with juice
1 dried bay leaf
8 anchovy filets packed in oil,minced
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives,halved
2 TBL drained capers
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound penne pasta
3 TBL chopped fresh parsley
In a Dutch oven,heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent,about 10 minutes. Add the celery,carrot,and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.Saute until all the vegetables are soft,about 10 minutes(maybe not that long really) Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour over low heat until the sauce thickens,stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of pasta water if the sauce get to thick.
**During this hour cook you pasta according to package directions,so you have your pasta water to add when the sauce is done with its simmering. I'm just sayin.**
Place the anchovies and some of their oil in a small skillet over medium heat until they  begin to melt,about 2 minutes. Add the olives,capers,remaining 1/4 tsp of black pepper and red pepper flakes.Saute until the olives are heated through,about 2 minutes. Stir the olive mixture into the tomato sauce and simmer over medium heat until the flavors blend,stirring frequently,about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the pasta to the sauce,stirring to coat evenly and then transfer to a large serving bowl or plates to serve. Enjoy!


  1. Delicious pasta! Sorry your garlic burned, but the rest of the ingredients sound wonderful! ☺

  2. I'm glad it all worked out in the end--it looks delicious with many of my favorite ingredients. Great pick! ;-)

  3. Yeah me too! It was a really good dinner and made for even better leftovers! Loved it.

  4. I love, love, love a good tomato sauce like this with lots of olives. Yum!