Spaghetti with Fresh-Tomato Sauce and Serrano Peppers
This fiery pasta recipe from La Petite Maison chef Alain Allegretti gets its heat from the serrano pepper, a small chile that is about twice as hot as a jalapeno.
The Martha Stewart Show, January 2011
For the Tomato Sauce
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, julienned
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 3 cups quartered beefsteak tomatoes
- 1/2 cup peeled and quartered plum tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Tomato Confit
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/3 pounds spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons minced serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- Make the tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and chile; cook, stirring, until soft and translucent. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Add beefsteak and plum tomatoes to Dutch oven. Wrap thyme, parsley, basil, and herbs de Provence in a piece of cheesecloth, using kitchen twine to enclose. Add to saucepan and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 hours. Remove cheesecloth packet and discard. Using an immersion or standard blender, blend sauce until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer and return to Dutch oven; set aside.
- Make the confit: Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a rack and set aside.
- Place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl and add garlic, thyme, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Evenly spread tomatoes on prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven; bake for 3 hours.
- To serve: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add sea salt and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook, according to package directions, until al dente; drain.
- Meanwhile, place tomato sauce over medium heat and add chile, cheese, and tomato confit; season with cracked black pepper and fleur de sel. Stir to combine. Stir in pasta to coat with sauce and evenly divide between 4 serving plates. Top with basil and serve immediately.
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