Thursday, December 17, 2009

FOOD WITH A 'TUDE


There’s a little game I like to play with myself.  I love to try new and interesting dishes at a restaurant and then go home and try to recreate them.  Sometimes I start by trying to recreate a dish but over time it continues to evolve into something completely different.

Years ago I was with a group of friends in South Beach and we dined in a restaurant whose name I can’t remember but what I do remember was the pasta dish that I ordered.  It was angel hair pasta with a pink champagne sauce.  It was a tomato cream sauce made with champagne.  Having more of a beer budget, I substituted wine for champagne and I came pretty close to the original.  This dish and variations of it such as added spinach and mushrooms were served on a somewhat regular basis at the SMB house.
Some time later, I came across a similar dish that “kicked it up another notch”.  Oddly enough, I discovered this culinary concoction in the cafeteria of the hospital where I was working.  We were fortunate to have a chef who worked nights at a local 5 star restaurant and days at the hospital.


***Side note***  The chef was once caught stealing food from the hospital pantry and fired.  The doctors circulated a petition and forced the hospital to rehire him because his replacement was no match for the culinary genius of our little thief.***  

So………anyway………….once the new spicy dish was repeated a few times, I asked the chef what it was called.  He said that loosely translated, it was “angry pasta”.  It was a tomato cream sauce made with ham and crushed red pepper.  I revised my old Champagne Pasta to include the ham and pepper and my family loved it.  Over time, I’ve completely omitted the wine from the recipe.  I love to cook with wine but in this case, it didn’t really add anything to the end result.  It’s become my signature dish.  My girls both know how to make it now.  Yes, even D1 who hates to cook.

My dear friend, Beauty, called me this morning on my way to work asking for a vegetarian recipe.  I suggested Angry Pasta with spinach and mushrooms instead of ham. 

She knew exactly what I was talking about as anyone who has spent more than a few days at my house has no doubt been served Angry Pasta.  As I was telling Beauty just how easy it is to make, it occurred to me that I should post the recipe.  I haven’t posted a recipe for a long time and with all the shopping, decorating, cookie baking and eggnog drinking going on around the world, don’t we all need an easy recipe to feed the troops and move on to the task at hand?

I actually have two versions of this recipe.  The easy one and the even easier one.  It is the even easier version you will find below.  If you’re interested in the easy version made with cream and canned tomatoes, you can email me at smartmouthbroad@gmail.com.  I’ll be happy to share it too.

ANGRY PASTA (My mother, Lucy, preferred angel hair pasta and she referred to this dish as Angel Hair with an Attitude)
1    jar prepared spaghetti sauce.  I prefer Barilla 5 cheese but any red sauce will do.
2    jars alfredo sauce.
1/2  to 1lb.  deli ham julienned (cut into strips).  Be sure not to use a sweet ham.
parmesan cheese to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
1 lb pasta of choice prepared al dente.  ( I prefer penne. )

Prepare the pasta as per the package instructions. 
Combine the remaining ingredients in a pan and heat.  This will make more sauce than necessary for 1 lb of pasta.  You can freeze the rest for the next time or make 2 lbs of pasta for a crowd.   If you want to make less, just be sure to use two parts alfredo to one part tomato sauce. 
Serve the sauce over the pasta.  Add some garlic bread and a salad and you are good to go.  You can’t get much easier than that without ordering take-out.

This dish isn’t exactly what you’d call diet friendly but it is very good and it is the season to celebrate, right?
Enjoy!


Hugs,
Smart Mouth Broad


27 comments:

Fragrant Liar said...

Yum! That sounds delish! I like your mom's name for it. :)

Erin P said...

That sounds really good! I love blush sauce...I make it with shrimp too(sautee shrimp in butter and garlic powder, add sauces, wine, pour over pasta).

We had a fantastic cook at the hospital I worked at too...he made the absolute best chicken Cesear salad I've still ever had, and London Broil to die for (the perfect marinade). He got "promoted" and our food was never the same.

otin said...

That sounds really good! I wonder how it would be with some really hot peppers? I should try it. I will call it "Super Pissed Pasta"!! lol

Brian Miller said...

nice. the recipe sounds great! maybe we will make our pasta angry this weekend.

Arkansas Patti said...

Sounds really good and I like the vegetarian twist. Trying to lean more in that direction.
Heading your way now but will turn off 95 before you. I will holler out the car window as I pull off
I95, "Merry Christmas Smart Mouth Broad" and hope it doesn't bring on any road rage.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. See ya in 2010.

Tresa said...

This dish sounds delicious--can't wait to try it.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Angry pasta, what a funny name.
Sounds delicious!

MilesPerHour said...

GF doesn't like it when I recreate dishes from restaurants, she wants to go out sometimes-lol.

Debbie said...

Sounds and looks delicious Smart Mouth! Thanks for sharing that story. Your mother sounds like a hoot...it must have been a fun life being brought up by her!

Jan said...

OMG about the doctors petitioning the hospital to rehire the chef that was caught stealing! My mouth just literally dropped open when I read that.

As for the pasta dish - I haven't had breakfast yet, and I just drooled all over the front of my shirt. Holy moly, that sounds good!

Gaston Studio said...

Leave it to the docs to think of their stomachs instead of the hospital's overall budget, LOL!

manker said...

in a word.. yum... perfect dins for our winter nites

gp

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Ah, sounds divine. Right to the broad part of me with the alfredo sauce. I've been trying to recontruct a green chili macaroni and cheese dish. Perhaps I need the alfredo sauce. Thanks for the idea (not the bigger thighs.)

Barbara said...

Great recipe with a fun title! And a super story with it. This is not the first time I've heard of a great chef doing business on the side.

Cristin said...

I'm a terrible cook, but THIS I think I could pull off... it sounds delicious and just based on the name "Angry Pasta" I have to give it a go!

Pastor Sharon said...

This dish sounds great. . . I gotta tell ya, I got angry at some pasta at Olive Garden this past week. I almost at the whole dish when I realized the Wii has not been kind to me because I keep fluctuating between 2 lbs. up and 2 lbs. down. . . then I realized it was misplaced anger because I was the one who kept on eating the pasta so I had the sweet waiter, Daniel, take it away. . . . so now, I'm gonna go try your recipe and if it is as good as it sounds, I'll through a noodle at the TV screen. . . if it sticks. . . I'll know I'm done with the Wii. . . haha

Tony Letts said...

oh yes - angry pasta does it for me

Heather said...

I need something "Angry" right now. All these sweets going around, a change will be nice.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I love pata dishes, cream sauces, and spicey foods. SO you know this sounds winner to me.

Oz Girl said...

Oh my, this sounds sounds lovely. I'll have to add it to my new list of recipes to try. Love the name, Angry Pasta. LOL

Gosh, I can't believe how things change when I disappear for a few weeks. You're red now! :)

Beth said...

Sounds like comfort food. I love the name!

Debbie said...

Yum! I'd go the veggie route too so thanks for the head up on how to do that.

Nina P. said...

Such a busy time of year... I'm trying to catch everyone before I head away for the Holiday. May the Peace, Love, Hope and Joy of the season fill your hearts and lives today and always. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I think it sounds great. Anything with pasta sounds wonderful to me.
(I wonder if that is why I am such a tub lately?) Sound wonderful!
I don't cook much anymore and this sounds so simple..

midlife slices said...

I so wish I liked tomato sauce based dishes..... *sigh*

Jason, as himself said...

Ummmm, YUMMMMM! And it is so easy to make! I have been known to try to recreate dishes from restaurants, too.

Life in the mom lane said...

We tried your angry pasta- minus the ham, just the sauce over linguine last night and it was a BIG HIT! Thanks!!!!