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'Top Chef Master’ winner Chris Cosentino shares a classic Italian dish to make at home

This easy pasta recipe that will feed your whole family.

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Courtesy (iStock)

HOUSTON – Pasta is affordable, versatile and it fills you up quickly! That’s why there’s probably boxes of spaghetti in your pantry.

To show you how to cook it like a pro and dress it up a bit, chef Chris Cosentino, winner of season four of Bravo’s "Top Chef Masters,” and owner of Rosalie Italian Soul in downtown Houston, shared one of his recipes.

“Super straightforward, super easy. It’s called Puttanesca. It’s a very classic sauce you can find throughout Italy,” said Cosentino, who motives everybody to get in the kitchen to do this recipe, even without having the complete ingredient list.

“Recipes are guidelines, they’re not meant to be a hundred percent consistent all the time. So, unless you’re baking, it’s easy to just substitute items out,” said Cosentino, who shared some tips for the recipe, including for how to make your spaghetti.

“It’s really important that you salt your water. Make sure it has some salinity to it,” said Cosentino, who is the author of the 2012 cookbook Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal.

The Puttanesca is prepared with anchovies, but it will be mash out to cook it up and they will blend into the dish.

“Put a pinch of the oil of the anchovies. That oil has a lot of flavor,” he said.

For Cosentino’s complete interview, watch the video below.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

(Serves: 4)

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoon olive oil, extra-virgin

• ½ cup red onion, brunoised

• 8 cloves garlic, pounded into a paste

• 2 tablespoons capers

• 4 filets anchovy, salt packed

• 4 filets bocarones (pickled anchovies)

• ½ cup red wine

• 3 cups San Marzano whole tomatoes (or fresh milled tomatoes)

• ¼ cup San Remo olives

• 10 ounces dried spaghetti

• ½ orange, zested

• 1 teaspoon oregano Leaves, fresh

• 2 teaspoons mint Leaves, fresh

• Red chili flakes to taste

• Aleppo chili flakes, to taste

• Red Boat fish sauce, to taste

• Cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a large, non-reactive sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add red onion and garlic. Let sizzle until aromatic, about 1 minute.

3. Add capers and both kinds of anchovies; breaking them up with a spoon to bloom the flavor.

4. Add red chili flakes and Aleppo chili flakes. Then deglaze with red wine, before the chili flakes burn.

5. Reduce the wine by ¾, then add the tomatoes, and let it cook until reduced by just over half.

6. Add the cooked spaghetti and San Remo olives; adjusting the seasoning with fish sauce and orange zest to taste. Once warm throughout add black pepper.

Recipe provided by Chef Chris Cosentino.


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