I have been reading about American Chefs who found themselves working in kitchens out of necessity. There was something or someone who took them to that enclave and from there blossomed and prospered their craft. If there’s one characteristic about these chefs that amazed me, it was their sheer enjoyment in preparing food and making people happy. Being in a hot, professional kitchen is hard living in itself and smiling and exuding happiness in that environment is a difficult undertaking and a major effort specially on a busy service.
I’ve never encountered ‘smiling’ faces in the previous kitchens I worked in. There were sneers and curses most often times, and I don’t blame them. Life in the kitchen is ethereal. There are no weekends or holidays, and working hours are long. While everybody is out and having their ordinary routines done, cooks slave their way to get through the weekend to be over and done with. It’s a massacre waiting to happen and delaying the fact that it would happen sooner or later only prolongs the agony. I’m not sure if I’d ever be in this situation; long hours, nights, nights or days that seems endless. Life has somehow caught up on me and I believe there maybe other avenues I can pursuit related to food. It’s out there, and like the American Chefs, someone, something or some uneventful turn of events can stir the ship to another course.
I bumped into this classical pasta dish when I was so engrossed reading about the lives of these American Chefs. It’s a very simple dish to make, and I had the major ingredients in my fridge. I had thought of giving it a hand several days ago and was not at all disappointed. I added some extras to make it my own.
- Spaghetti (I used Spaghettoni)
- Fresh Roma Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Tomato Puree
- Olive Oil
- Garlic, coarsely chopped
- Anchovy Paste
- Crushed Chilis
- Lemon juice
- Parmesan Cheese or Romano Cheese
- Truffle Oil (Optional)
Start a pot of boiling water and cook the spaghetti noodles based on the instructions in the box.
Heat the olive oil in a hot saute pan and start sauteing the garlic. Squeeze some anchovy paste when the garlic becomes aromatic. Add the Roma Tomatoes, herbs, capers and olives and stir continuously.
Pull out the Spaghetti noodles from the boiling water and dump everything in the saute pan. Continue stirring, and pour the tomato puree in; enough to coat all the noodles. Add more if necessary. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs to thicken the sauce,squeeze some lemon juice, add some grated cheese, and drizzle with Truffle oil or Olive oil before serving.
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