I've been eating this dish since I was 10 and I could eat it every day for the rest of my life if you asked me to. Italian blood runs thick through my veins, what can I say. It has become a Christmas Eve staple to make at home for my family, but whenever I have the chance to enjoy it at Bottega Restaurant, I certainly do. Never discount enjoying a meal out and attempting to make it at home, especially when you have access to the executive chef and owner's world renewed cookbook.
recipe: Bottega Favorita
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
- 4-5 dried red chiles
- 1/2 lb capellinj
- 8-10 large basil leaves
- 1 24 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
- A generous 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic cloves and reduce heat to medium low. Toast the garlic until it is golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the dried chiles for about 30 seconds, to release the flavors.
3. Add the capellini to the boiling water to cook. Watch carefully, you want the pasta al dente and it only takes a few minutes.
4. While the pasta is cooking, add half the basil and the tomatoes (undrained) to the sauté pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the drained and cooked pasta to the sauté pan and toss to mix the sauce.
6. Transfer to a serving dish and tear the remaining basil leaves, drizzle the remaining oil and top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
I hope this dish brings you as much simplicity and joy as it has to me over the years. Whether you're enjoying it at home, or from the beautiful Bottega Restaurant itself, it will stay in your mind and you will find yourself craving it as I do, time and time again.
Until next time, happy cooking!