Thursday, June 9, 2011

#26 - Deputy Dave's Pasta Heaven

My husband put this together one evening and as I took the first bite, I thought the dish could've been ordered from a high-end restaurant in downtown Houston. It was incredible.

The reason I don't cook as well as my husband is because I won't use "exotic" ingredients in my preparation, but Deputy Dave loves using a wide variety ingredients.

Another reason I don't cook as well as my husband is...he can throw some ingredients together and it tastes delicious, and when I throw some ingredients together it tastes like compost.

This is one of my dinners...YUM.
When we first married, I was an extremely picky eater. He would prepare food and make me close my eyes before I took my first bite --- he would not let me see the plate of food because he would say that I was tasting with my eyes, not my tastebuds. Now, my waist-line reflects Deputy Dave's great's the mark of living with a great Chef, poundage. Honey, thanks for adding more hours to my hour-glass!

Thank God he taught our daughters how to taste with their tastebuds and not their eyes or we wouldn't be enjoying all the delights that he so casually puts together.


(This is a dinner for two, but you can double the ingredients or adjust as needed for more people, it's easy to adjust since the ingredients don't have to measured exactly for this flavorful dish to be excellent).

1) Approximately 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
2) Small Tin of Anchovies packed in Olive Oil (you will only use 4 fillets out of the can, you can put the remainder in a freezer baggie to use in another recipe or you can double this recipe and use the entire tin).
3) Cherry Tomatoes - quartered. We picked about 2 cups of cherry tomatoes from our garden for this recipe.
4)  1 Tablespoon of Capers (you can buy a little jar of these at the store).
5) 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced (we grow these)
6) 4-5 fresh Sweet Basil leaves, shredded (as much as you'd like, to taste and we also grow these)
7) 1/4th cup of Parmesan Cheese
8) Salt - Kosher
9) Spaghetti or other preferred pasta for 2-3 people prepared as directed on the package in a separate pot as you cook the sauce in the skillet.

1)  In a large skillet set on medium heat, add the olive oil and and 4 Anchovy Fillets into the skillet while mashing and chopping the fillets until they begin to break down and dissolve. The flavor they give to the oil is amazing. Personally, I think anchovies are completely gross, but their flavor in a recipe is tasty. Again, Deputy Dave has convinced me, most times, to quit tasting with my eyes.
2) After the anchovies are dissolved into the oil, add the quartered Cherry Tomatoes and a couple of general pinches of kosher salt. Cook for about 2-3 minutes with heat reduced to medium-low heat. Stir frequently.
3) Add the Minced Garlic to the skillet and stir frequently for about five minutes or until the flavors are mingled and the garlic is sauteed nicely. During this time, make sure the pasta is timed to be ready on the stove next to the skillet.
4) Add the Capers and the Basil Leaves to the sauce and stir everything together, letting it cook for another couple of minutes. Almost there!
5) Turn off heat to the skillet. Remove the pasta from the pot in which it cooked and put it directly into the skillet with the sauce. Adjust how much pasta to add, depending on how much sauce you've made, you can add a little bit of the pasta water to your skillet, if needed. Toss pasta into sauce to coat.
6) Immediately add the Parmesan cheese and toss.

Now, you have a dish that's impressive, yet fairly easy to put together. This recipe is fun to make and left-overs can be put into a covered dish in the fridge for later. If you want, you can add sliced grilled chicken, sauteed shrimp or slices of sausage. As always, you are the Chef of your own kitchen.


Rae said...

That sounds fantastic! Both LJ and I have some dishes we specialize in, but neither of us really cook by measurements, which makes it difficult to share recipes. Glad that you were able to share this one. I may just have to try it!

LindaG said...

You two are just like us. Hubby can throw whatever together and it usually tastes pretty good.

If I do it, the results are guaranteed to be iffy. And if by chance I come up with a good combination? I forget how I did it!

If I put anchovies in anything though, hubby would threaten to divorce me. ;)

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Rae - your kitchen sounds like spirit cooking!!! We do use measurements sometimes, but what happens is that we often end up measuring a cup --- according to the recipe and THEN we say, "Oh, that's not enough, I'll add another 1/4th cup because that will taste even better." You know how it goes...

Linda - I thought I'd threaten my husband in the same way, but I actually like the way anchovies taste when dissolved into oil. However, I'm still picky about many foods and am picky about the texture of some foods. I don't want to eat ANY sausage that isn't 100% beef --- I don't want heart parts, intestine parts, brain parts, I want the BEEF and NO ORGANS. So, I understand...