|Look at my ears! No one can resist my floppy ears!|
Last weekend, I made a fettuccine dish and didn't use up all of my fresh pasta. I saw this recipe for Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers in the most recent issue of Food & Wine. I've made a dish with fried capers as a garnish before and they're really awesome. They crisp very nicely, but retain their tanginess.
The original recipe didn't call for sundried tomatoes, but I thought they would be a good addition. I used enough fresh pasta for two people and the vegetable and meat amounts for a full recipe. I omitted the anchovies.
This dish was quick, simple, and really really good. The simple addition of some crushed red pepper made the prosciutto taste almost like capicola ham. This dish was pretty quick to make because there wasn't much chopping and the tomatoes and garlic don't cook for very long. The most labor intensive part of the meal was frying the capers, which isn't very complicated.
Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers
Slightly modified from Food & Wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
Enough corn starch to coat the capers (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup but I think this was way too
much and could have gotten away with 1/8 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 oz prosciutto, sliced into 1 inch thick ribbons (I buy the nitrite free stuff)
2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced (half to cook, half for garnish)
Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish
1) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. In a pot, boil some water for the pasta.
2) Toss the capers with the cornstarch and transfer to a sieve to shake off the excess cornstarch.
3) Add the coated capers to the oil and fry over high heat, tilting and gently shaking the pan, until the capers are crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Drain the capers, reserving 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Spread the capers on a paper towel–lined plate.
4) Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes, until the garlic becomes golden.
5) Add the prosciutto and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Keep the ribbons separate. Toss the pasta into the boiling water while the prosciutto is cooking.
6) Add the tomatoes and sundried tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes. Then stir in the basil.
7) Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pasta. Then drain pasta. Return it to the pot and add the sauce from the skillet. Add the cooking water a little at a time, I only used about 1/4 cup. Toss over high heat until it's thickened, about 2 minutes.
8) Serve in a bowl with some of the leftover basil and grated Parmesan.