Michael Symon: Orecchiette with White Anchovies and Mint

Michael Symon prepares a quick, simple pasta with chile flakes, anchovies and fresh mint.

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I have my pasta water. I'm going to salt the pasta water. The water should taste essentially like the ocean. Don't put oil in the water, cuz that forms a lid on top then the pasta water doesn't boil as much, so when you pull the pasta out of the water, oil is all over the noodles, so your sauce doesn't stick to the noodle. Water, salt, boiling, pasta. Everyone got it? All right. And now we'll start making the sauce. I use anchovies in a lot of my dishes because it's a flavor that you can't develop from anything else. They have this beautiful backbone of flavor And the easiest way to do em is you put some oil olive oil in a pan. It's going to be the base of our sauce. And then I take the anchovies and I just put em right in the pan. And their just gonna disintegrate as they warm in this olive oil. And I just stir em in. And I'm over medium heat here. Cuz I'm using extra virgin oil, and I don't want it to get crazy hot. All right. We're gonna let those go. Stir our pasta. When you're cooking pasta at home, look at the box and cook it a minute or two less than the box says. Cuz you're gonna finish it in your sauce. All that stuff's gonna happen. The pasta is gonna be perfect. Can you see that? The anchovies See how they're pretty much all gone? Now we're going to start building the rest of this. I'm going to take a little bit of pasta water, about three ounces, add it to the extra virgin oil, some chili flakes. Pull out our pasta, give it a good shake. If some of that excess water Ends up in there it's fine cause again we're just building this sauce. Now important thing that just happened right there, I took the pasta out of the water and added it to the sauce. I didn't go to the sink Pour it in a colander, spray it with cold water, toss it with some olive oil, set it to the side. And the only reason I'm saying this is my mother is Greek and Sicilian, and she did this my entire childhood. And then mix it in the sauce later. Or, even worse, put that pasta in a bowl and then dump the sauce on top. You want the sauce to incorporate with the noodle and stick to the noodle. The sauce, the noodle has starch on the exterior of it. If we rinse it under the sink and then toss it in the oil it's never going to adhere. Now, I've some fresh mint. I'm going to just take the mint and tear it right in here. You know, there's times when herbs needs chopped. But for the most part, I'm a fan of either tearing fresh herbs right over whatever you're making, so the oils fall in. Or, if you're gonna chop them, chop them with just one single pass of the knife. They wilt right in there. All the oil from the mint goes into our pasta. Some extra virgin oil, and then there you go, orecchiette with white anchovies, fresh mint, and chili flakes. [APPLAUSE] [BLANK_AUDIO]
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Michael Symon: Orecchiette with White Anchovies and Mint