Pasta just like nonna used to make. Only I called her grandma. « blogging for burgers

Pasta just like nonna used to make. Only I called her grandma.

Today, after submitting a couple of business school applications, I decided that it was time to make some Scarpetta pasta, after having been inspired by this article.  What better than an idle Sunday night to test my skillz after BG was up in Boston for the weekend?  I was at Zabar’s yesterday and bought some great bucatini pasta, which is my favorite kind of pasta (sponsors?  want to send me some product?  I’ll test it…).  I got some Benedetto Cavalieri, which word on the street told me was great dried pasta.  During the day, I made a new best friend, who decided to come to my back door and hang out for a while.  I’m talkin like a good ten minutes.  Just in case you all wanted to see him, here he is:



After my li’l buddy left, it was time to start making some Scarpetta pasta.  The recipe was pretty straightforward– it really just involved simmering down some tomatoes, making a basil and garlic-infused oil, and then adding a heap of butter to the finished product, with some fresh basil and parmesan cheese.  Pretty straightforward stuff, indeed.

First, I got the ingredients together on the old butcher block.  I always put things together in a photogenic manner on the butcher block prior to cooking them.  You know, just in case a camera shows up to the party.


Now, the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, but I didn’t have any on hand, but I did have a can of San Marzano tomatoes in the cupboard, so I went with that.  As directed, I separated the seeds from the flesh of the tomatoes, and added it to a pot of hot oil.  Then, using my trusty OXO futuristic potato masher, I crushed those bad boys down.


While this was going down in a pot, I flavored the olive oil with basil and garlic and a pinch of chili flakes.  I was really following this recipe to the T, as you can see.  (Nice rhyme.  High five, me!)


I strained that into to the sauce, and that was that!  I cooked up the super duper fancy bucatini until it was al dente.  Then, as directed, I heated up some sauce in a pan until it was reduced, and added the pasta with a little bit of water.  And then, the final nail on this coffin of olive-oily goodness– fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and a hunk of butter!  Oh yeah!  This brought the dish to a whole new level.  Standing in front of stove, I could smell the buttery goodness emanating from the pan.  It was like tomato sauce crack.  I couldn’t get enough of the smell.  While I was making the portions for burgergal and myself, I wanted to eat the whole pan like a baby who just learned to quasi-eat solid foods, and instead mashes it all in its face.  But, I didn’t.  Still figuring out why.



Here’s a little close-up.  Yes, that hunk of yellow underneath the cheese is butter.  Oh-yee.



Now, I think this really gives the picture featured on Serious Eats a run for its money! It was deeeeee-licious.  Look out, Scott Conant.

Just for comparison, take a look at the pic featured on Serious Eats.  I think mine looks better.

Image belongs to Serious Eats

Image belongs to Serious Eats

2 Responses to “Pasta just like nonna used to make. Only I called her grandma.”

  • Ari

    You just made me crave pasta and Scarpetta and it’s 10AM. Can you come over and make this in my kitchen?

  • uberchef

    Mission complete! I’ve got spaghettini dreams…this dish is the phenom of simplicity (and butter). Big ups to Jazzy Burger Meistro for the tutorial 🙂

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