HANUKKAH SPAGHETTI (click title for downloadable PDF)
To celebrate the tradition of eating oil-drenched foods on Hanukkah, Voracious this year asked local chefs to provide holiday recipes calling for oily, sustainable fish. Here, Il Corvo‘s Mike Easton pairs Spanish sardines with pasta for a carb-heavy winter treat that serves four. Don’t forget the wine.
My Favorite Spaghetti
1 pound, very good Spaghetti, (hand-made from Il Corvo if possible)
1 tin, Matiz Spanish sardines or other brand of fine quality
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon, chili flakes
2 tablespoons, good olive oil
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
2 bottles of Vermetino (Sicilian white wine)
1. Open one bottle of Vermetino, pour out four glasses.
2. De-bone and fillet the sardines, reserving the oil from the tin.
3. Bring a large volume of heavily salted (tastes like the ocean) pasta water, to a boil.
4. Add the reserved sardine oil, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes to a saute pan large enough for a pound of spaghetti. Heat until the garlic is sizzling, then shut off heat. Do not remove from stovetop (the residual heat will finish cooking the garlic.)
5. Boil the spaghetti to the desired “toothiness.” If using dried pasta, cook it one minute less than the package indicates.
6. While the spaghetti boils, mash the sardines up with a fork and add to the resting saute pan. (the one with the garlic, etc.)
7. When the pasta is done DO NOT RINSE WITH COLD WATER! Drain it and toss it in the pan with garlic, sardines, chili.
8. Once the spaghetti is evenly coated, add the bread crumbs and give it one last toss.
Serve at once.
9. Open your second bottle of Vermetino and enjoy.
For four servings:
1 pound good quality spaghetti or linguini (fresh from Il Corvo, preferably)
6 duck egg yolks
3/4 lb prosciutto ends (ask your local salumi slinger)
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated fine
1 tsp chili flake (optional)
To begin, put your largest pot of heavily salted water on to boil.
First, acquire 3/4 pound of fatty prosciutto ends from your favorite deli. Trim them of any skin, being sure to leave the fat intact, remove any string left over from sewing up the leg, and mince the fat and meat finely. A meat grinder or food processor will help with this step. Next, put the ground/minced prosciutto and fat into a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat and begin to render out (liquefy) the fat, stirring frequently. Once the meat is beginning to get crispy and the fat is completely liquified, set the pot aside, off of the heat.
Now, crack and separate the eggs, place the yolks into a medium mixing bowl (large enough to toss 1 pound of pasta in) and do whatever you people do with your extra egg whites (Pavlova? meringue?). Beat the yolks until slightly pale and then incorporate the parmesan and optional chili flake.
Now take your rendered fat and crispy bits-o-prosciutto, hopefully cooled off a bit and slowly beat, fat and all, into the egg-yolk-parmesan mixture.
The sauce is done, leave it at room temperature until the pasta is boiled to perfection.
Finally, and preferably table-side, remove the pasta from the boiling water, drain almost completely, and while it is still piping hot, toss it with the sauce in the bowl. The heat of the pasta, and remaining salty water clinging to it, mixed with the egg mixture, will create a decadent sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of hot pasta water, enjoy hot.