COOKBOOKS, FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | December 16, 2008

Kim’s Version of Spaghettini alla Georgio

With the holiday full schedule, I thought of delicious main dishes that can be ready in 10 minutes. Mainly dishes that I do from start to finish takes 20 to 30 minutes. But I found one recipe on my repertoire that I can prepare and cook in about 10 minutes.

Made In Italy: Food and Stories by Giorgio Locatelli

It is a pasta dish. In fact, many pasta sauces are quick to prepare but my favorite is a recipe that I called Spaghettini alla Giorgio. I discovered the recipe watching a British cooking TV show back in 2003. Tony and Giorgio played at BBC Canada. The cooking of Giorgio appeals more to me in the show. If you visit London, UK, Locanda Locatelli is Giorgio’s restaurant.

It is my version because I updated it over the years to suit our taste. It started as Spaghetti with Tuna in White wine with anchovies. I put red wine because my husband prefers red wine and we drink the rest of the bottle with our meal. I add more tomatoes because I like it and the red white can sustain it.

I googled chef Giorgio Locatelli. This is how I found on Amazon his 2007 award-winning book Made in Italy: Food and Stories. This is a 624-page brick. It is supposed to be fill with vibrantly illustrated Locatelli’s recipes, insight and historical detail about Italian food. It will be delivered early January but the price is a bargain at Amazon.ca so I ordered it.

My Recipe for Spaghettini with Tuna, Anchovies and Caper in Red Wine (Kim’s Version of Spaghettini alla Georgio)

Tonight my husband and I will eat this for dinner. I like it because everything you need is stored in your pantry. There is bad weather in Montreal, so it feels nice not to have to go to the grocery store.

If you have picky eaters in your family, know that I served this recipe to people who typically dislike anchovies and they did not notice the anchovies. I knew they were not allergic. I guess that the fact that they do not see them makes a difference.

If you can find a jar of tuna in olive oil, go for those. They taste better than the typical canned white tuna available in North America. Amazon sells the Ortiz Bonito Del Norte Reserva De Familia Aged Tuna in Olive Oil.

Ingredients for 2-3 portions

Your favorite Italian brand Spaghettini

  • 2 cloves of garlic, pealed and sliced
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 3 big tablespoons of capers, rinsed and drained
  • 9 ounces / 250g premium solid canned tuna, ideally in olive oil.
  • 60% of large can of whole Italian tomatoes, without the juice
  • 2 to 3 ounces (about 80 ml) of red white
  • 10 basil leaves roughly chopped by hand
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Optional:
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as topping.

How to make it?

  1. Heat well salted water to cook your pasta. Prep your ingredients. I schedule everything so that the sauce and the pasta are ready at the same time. Start cooking the sauce once the water is boiling.
  2. Heat in a large pan the olive oil at low-medium heat. Cook the garlic for a minute. Then, put the anchovies and capers. Cook for a minute or two until the anchovies have melted.
  3. Add the tuna as a whole piece in the pan. Separate in three large parts and drizzle some olive oil on the top of each tuna piece to remove some dryness. Increase the heat at medium to medium-high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, perforate the tomatoes to drain most of the juice. Put the drained tomatoes in a bowl. Roughly cut each tomato in 3 or 4 pieces into the bowl. Keep in the remaining juice. Reserve.
  5. Add the red wine to the pan to extract all the favors that sit at the bottle of your pan. Cook until the alcohol is evaporated. It will take 3 minutes on average.
  6. Add the tomatoes and the basil leaves. Cook until the tomatoes have warmed up – 1 to 2 minutes is plenty.
  7. Remove the pasta just before they get al dente (tender but still firm to the bite). Keep a small glass of the pasta water before draining the pasta – use it if the sauce is too thick after you mixed the pasta and the sauce (often not necessary). DO NOT RINSE your pasta.
  8. Toss the pasta to the sauce, add the basil leaves and gently mix. You can season with pepper, if you like. This recipe does not need salt due to the presence of the anchovies and capers.
  9. Serve on the pasta bowl and top with freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Savor!

Giorgio Locatelli is really good at explaining cooking techniques. He tells us what is important and which actions make a difference.If you wish to get an idea of how good Giorgio Locatelli is at teaching cooking, check out this video which is an excerpt of a recipe in the book Made In Italy: Food and Stories.

SOURCING:
+ Anchovy Fillets by Scalia $18.99 USD for 8.5 ounces
+ Ortiz Bonito Del Norte Reserva De Familia Aged Tuna in Olive Oil $13.99 USD
+ For Canadians: Made in Italy: Food and Stories $37.77 CAD
+ For Americans: Made in Italy: Food and Stories $59.95 USD

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