Monday, November 19, 2012

Linguine With Hot Chile, Caramelized Onion & Gremolata

Yum!!!  Meatless Monday was a huge hit tonight. I did make some small adjustments based on what  I had in the fridge.  I had a 1/2 a red onion and a 1/2 a yellow onion, so rather than cut up a new one, I used those.  Also I had jalapenos on hand, so they went in for the Serrano.  I also did not follow the tip to mince up the lemon zest.  I really like the texture of the microplaned zest and it's easier.  The dish its self is really easy to make.  The most taxing part was grating the Pecorino and mincing the gremolata.  I was quite surprised at the world of difference the gremolata made.  If we had each eaten 1/4 of the dish, there was probably enough of it, but we ate a little over 3/4 and used it all.  Now I have a bowl of pasta and none of the yummy topping that took the dish from good to wow.  What makes this a must try dish?  Well, it's easy. fast, it doesn't have any ingredients that are hard to find and won't get used up, its vegetarian and it is really delicious.  It's not diet, but hey, it isn't magic;). We debated it's inclusion into the "college cookbook" for our son. (it's that easy and good)  Ultimately, I decided against since it does require a good knife and a bit of effort to finely chop up the gremolata.  Not quite dorm room cooking friendly, but definitely apartment friendly.  Maybe there should be a 101 cookbook and a 102?  Another thing going for the dish is it isn't expensive.  The pecorino is the only pricey item, but it is less expensive than a decent Parmesan.  I keep forgetting to rate the dishes with my family at the table, but I think I can safely call this one a 4.5


Linguine With Hot Chile, Caramelized Onion & Gremolata

2    Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1    large yellow onion,very thinly sliced
1/2 t  crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1    serrano or other fresh small chile, seeded and finely minced
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter cut into about 5 pieces
3    Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 lb dried linguine
1/3 c  roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1    large clove garlic,finely chopped
1 t  finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 c  grated Pecorino Romano,more for sprinkling

Tip: Instead of grating the lemon for the gremolata, use a zester and
then finely chop the long strips of zest with a chefs knife. This zest
is a little chunkier and easier to sprinkle.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the
onion and red pepper flakes, season with a big pinch of kosher salt,
and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and nicely browned, about
15 minutes (reduce the heat to medium low if the onion is browning too
fast) . Add the chile and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the
heat, add the butter, and swirl the pan to melt. Add the lemon juice
and another pinch of kosher salt. Keep warm.
Cook the linguine in the boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the gremolata: Combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon
zest on a cutting board and chop them together with a chefs knife until
the parsley is finely chopped and mixed well with the lemon and garlic.
Drain the pasta and return it to its cooking pot. Over medium heat, add
the onion mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Add the 1/2 cup
Pecorino, quickly toss again, and add salt to taste. Transfer the pasta
to a platter or shallow bowls. Sprinkle liberally with the gremolata
and more Pecorino and serve.


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