Tuesday, March 07, 2006

~March Cooking With Washington Wines~

While looking through my personal recipe file and those from our family cookbook, that was printed a couple of summer's ago, I had trouble deciding what would be appropriate for March. First I thought about my jambalaya recipe with chicken, delicious sausage and shrimp. It would have been appropriate for the Mardi Gras week. But Fat Tuesday was the last day in February, so I forgot that idea. Then I thought about Saint Patrick's Day coming up and there was my father's corn beef and cabbage recipe that he would prepare every March. No. I didn't want to think about a wine that would pair with cabbage. As I looked through the family cookbook I immediately thought - Italian! Why not? In honor of my charming son-inlaw, Giancarlo and my beautiful granddaughter, Izabella. So, I thought I would post one of the recipes from Gianni's father, Emilio.

Emilio is a legend in Portsmouth, NH where he and Gianni's mom, Linda dishes up delicious lunches and sells imported Italian groceries to his customers at Emilio's. You do not tell him what you want to eat. He tells you. What are the store's hours if you happen to be in Portsmouth and want to check it out? It's open when Emilio feels like it. Emilio has been featured on the PBS program Ciao Italia hosted by Mary Ann Espisito. I have watched this show when the two of them have had wars on who makes the best pizza - him or her. And now I present - -

Emilio's Angel Hair Pasta
Capellini d'Angeli d'Emilio

This recipe was from Nonni Maddaloni. A quick and tasty meal and according to Emilio, even better at 3:00 am. If you want to keep the Italian theme going, you could pair it with a Pinot Grigio from Seven Hills Winery. Or if you aren't a fan of white, then check out the red Italian varietals from Morrison Lane. If you really want to be adventurous, try the Chenin Blanc from Lecole No. #41. That bit of residual sugar will blend with and sooth the spice from the peppers.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp of jarred capers, rinsed and minced
7 or 8 black olives, oil-cured, pitted and chopped
4 or 5 anchovy fillets in olive oil. Drained, but reserving 1 tablespoon of the oil
2 small jalapeño peppers
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
Fine sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1/2 pound angel hair pasta

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add garlic and saute over medium heat until it softens. Stir in the capers, olives, anchovies and reserved oil, jalapeño peppers, red pepper flakes, and half of the parsley. Continue to saute until the anchovies melt into the oil. Add salt per taste. Remove the jalapeño peppers and set aside. Keep the sauce warm. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved water to the saute pan. Over medium heat quickly stir the pasta and sauce together until it is mixed well. Pour the finished pasta mixture onto the platter over the jalapeño peppers. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve with your favorite Italian hard cheese.

Buon appetito!

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