The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4008299
Posted By: Steve Shaw
10-Sep-19 - 09:16 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I never overcook my fish, Stilly...

We had my somewhat unconventional chicken arrabbiata on Sunday. For two of us I used about 300g of skinless, boneless free-range chicken breast cut into bite size, a can and a half of Italian plum tomatoes (or skin your own ripe ones), two cloves of garlic, sliced (not minced, not ever!), a good pinch of chilli flakes, or chopped up chillis, to taste (I like it hot), four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and some chopped fresh parsley. The pasta we had was bronze-die pennone (big tubes). I don't care for those slippery little penne pasta tubes. I want more bite. 200g is more than enough.

Sauté the chilli and garlic gently in the oil in a big heavy frying pan for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat up a bit and add the tomatoes, parsley and some seasoning. At this point, put on the pasta in loads of salted boiling water and set the timer for what it says on the packet. No self-respecting Italian cook EVER adds oil to the pasta water. Keep stirring that sauce to break up the tomatoes and simmer it gently uncovered. When the pasta has about seven or eight minutes to go, stir-fry the chicken in a bit of hot oil in a separate pan (don't let olive oil smoke though). When the chicken is nicely coloured all over (two minutes) stir it into the tomato sauce. Let that simmer gently for a few minutes until the pasta is ready. Drain the pasta, retaining a mug full of pasta water just in case (I usually need a little bit for this). Throw the pasta into the sauce and turn off the heat. Mix thoroughly: you want the sauce to coat the tubes inside and out. Add a splash of pasta water if you think it's a bit too dry. Serve on warm bowls, sit on the sofa, lean over your bowl and devour with a fork whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing.

I got the idea of adding something proteinaceous to arrabbiata from Gino D'Acampo. He uses raw skinless salmon, cut up into small cubes, instead of the chicken. You just throw the fish into the sauce at the end, one minute before adding the pasta. The salmon cooks perfectly in the hot mix in less than two minutes. Trust me!

No cheese needed either. I suppose you could add Parmesan or pecorino to the chicken version, but in Italy it's a mortal sin to put Parmesan anywhere near fish.