Fettuccine with Quick Tomato Sauce and Hot Chili Oil
- SERVINGS: 6
Sommelier Larry Stone of Rubicon suggests using any leftover hot chili oil for making stir-fries and popping popcorn.
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 dried spicy red chile
- 1 small dried chipotle chile
- 4 Szechuan peppercorns
- 3 black peppercorns, cracked
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 serrano or large jalapeño, very thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- Scant 1 teaspoon minced oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound dried egg fettuccine
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the dried red chile, the chipotle, Szechuan peppercorns and black peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Cook over very low heat for 15 minutes, then strain the hot chili oil into a jar.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, serrano, thyme and oregano, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook the tomato sauce over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, shake it dry and return it to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, basil, Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the hot chili oil and toss. Serve the pasta in bowls and pass Parmesan and the remaining hot chili oil at the table.
Almost any lighter red goes well with this pasta, which is slightly salty from the cheese and spicy from the hot oil. Try a Côtes-du-Rhône from France.