I’m a big Jamie Oliver fan, so it was no surprise that Jamie’s America was high on my wish list. After receiving the book for my birthday (more bonus points for husband) I tried out one of the simplest recipes in the book: NYC Vodka Arrabbiata. I’m sure you already have a slew of tried and tested tomato-based pasta sauce recipes up your sleeve (not literally, I hope), but this one’s a great addition to anyone’s repertoire. It’s very easy to make, fast, and has an interesting tang that makes it quite special. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 fresh red chillies
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 shots of vodka
- 500 g spaghetti
- 1 lemon
And here are Jamie’s instructions:
Prick the chillies 6 to 8 times with a small sharp knife. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and chillies and let them cook slowly for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to full whack and then add the garlic, parsley stalks and anchovies. Keep moving everything around the pan, and when the garlic starts to take on some colour, add the tinned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to the boil, add the vodka, and turn the heat down so the sauce simmers. Gently bash up your chillies with a wooden spoon to release more of their great flavour into the sauce. Add your pasta to a pan of salted boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain in a colander, then immediately toss the pasta in the sauce. Roughly chop the reserved parsley leaves and sprinkle them over your pasta. Finely grate the lemon zest over the top, then squeeze in the juice, making sure you catch any pips in your hands. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil to finish it off, and serve immediately with a fresh green salad.
Unfortunately our food stylist was on holiday, but I assure you this tasted great. If you’re in the market for a cookbook with a wonderful variety of American cuisine from its many regions, you’ll want this book. And if you thought American food is all about burgers and fries, you should get this book too.