Lazy Person's Semolina
No. 5 In Red Sauce Minor
Story/recipe and photos by Tom Weber
I guess I'm not as LAZY as I thought. Don't get me wrong;
I'm still LAZY, just not as much as before.
I could've made quick work of the following recipe by
simply opening up a jar of "It's in there!" Instead, for no
apparent reason, I opted to take a much longer route to create the following
simple and spicy first-course dish.
Maybe I had an epiphany while looking in the fridge
to see what I could whip up next, if one can actually have an epiphany
while peering into an ice-a-box. Or, maybe I was just pleased with the
way the previous Lazy Person recipes turned out that I
subconsciously told myself, "You can do this." Ergo, not as
LAZY as before.
Well, whatever the reason, the final result plated on
the dish was pretty good and, I think, worthy of sharing with my sorta,
kinda clueless-in-the-kitchen-somewhat-lazy mates.
So, this time around, I'd like to take you through all
the steps involved in preparing the Lazy Person's Semolina No.
5 in Red Sauce Minor - Dah-Dah-Dah-Daaaaaaaaah - or LPS5RSM
Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven (1819) by
Joseph Karl Stieler - Beethoven Haus, Bonn, Germany - This
photographic reproduction is in the Public Domain.
With apologies to Ludwig van Beethoven, the LPS5RSM
is a symphony of sorts, as we blend overlapping flavors from olive
oil, peeled pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), garlic and spicy
red pepper - like the short-short-short-long motif of one of LvB's
most often played compositions, Symphony No.5 in C Minor
- into a culinary opus, the sauce. And the baton of the maestro
(conductor), who will lead the ingredients, is one narrow box
of Semolina (Durum wheat flour) spaghetti, size
Before we head into the kitchen, you might like
to know that the Italian word spaghetti translates as "little
strings." How appropriate for our quasi, classical music-themed
Now, if you'll give me a second to slip into my
white tie and tails, we'll get this symphony underway. I just
hope I'm not wearing some of the red sauce at the end.
Lazy Person's Semolina No. 5 In Red Sauce Minor
- 3-3.5 oz (90-100g) dried Semolina spaghetti No.
- 10-12 Peeled and sliced Datterino pomodorini (Datterino
type cherry tomatoes)
- 8 baked black olives cut into small pieces
- 2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or enough
to coat a large skillet)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried peperoncino (red pepper
flakes or powder)
- 2 cloves of quartered garlic (0r 1/2 teaspoon of
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- 1 tall pot of salted boiling water
Prep and Cooking time: 15-20 min.
Step-1: Fill the large pot with water, cover,
set the burner to HIGH and begin the boiling process
Step-2: Rinse, clean and score the cherry tomatoes.
Place in a small pot of boiling water between 30-sec. and 1-min. then
Step-3: Place the hot cherry tomatoes in a hand-held
medium strainer, rinse lightly with cold water to cool down.
Step-4: Begin hand-peeling the cherry tomatoes,
placing the skinless pulp on a cutting board. Roughly chop all the peeled
Step-5: Cut the black olives into small pieces,
ensuring you remove the pits in the process
Step-6: Peel and quarter the cloves of garlic
(If you use garlic powder, then Step-8a)...
Step-7: Pour the olive oil into the skillet rotating
it around until the pan is completely coated. Set the burner on MEDIUM
heat and warm the oil for 1-min. DO NOT BURN THE OIL
Step-8: When the olive oil heats up, introduce
the quartered garlic pieces and stir. Once the garlic starts to brown,
turn off burner and remove garlic pieces from the skillet
Step-8a: If you're using garlic powder instead
of the cloves, like I did (remember, I'm kinda LAZY) sprinkle it over
the warm oil and stir it around for about 1-min., then turn off the
Step-9: Add to the oil the dried crushed or powdered
red pepper; stir briefly, then set the skillet aside
Step-10: The large pot of water is now boiling.
Remove the lid and add the sea salt. Weigh the pasta to ensure the correct
Step-11: Drop the spaghetti into the water. Push
the strands down with tongs until they are all submerged. Stir around
during the first minute to ensure the "little strings" do
not stick together. Set timer for 7-min. and let the pasta cook
Note: Cooking time for no. 5 spaghetti is 8-min.,
but we're subtracting 1-min. and will use that minute to quickly sauté
the pasta in the red sauce (see Step-14).
Step-12: While the spaghetti is cooking, return
the skillet to the burner and place on MEDIUM heat. Fold in the cherry
tomato pulp, the black olive pieces, and 2 tablespoons of the salty
pasta water from the pot and stir for 2-min. Turn the burner down to
LOW heat and wait for the spaghetti to finish cooking in the boiling
Step-13: RING! The timer hits the 7-min. mark.
Turn off the burner. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and shake off
the excess water.
Step-14: Throw down the cooked spaghetti into
the skillet, where the sauce has remained warm, and raise the burner
to MEDIUM-to-HIGH heat and sauté quickly for about 30-45 sec.,
or until all the "little strings" are bathed in red.
Step-15: Turn off the burner. Plate the LPS5RSM
with kitchen tongs. Serve.
Recommended Wine Pairing: Fontamara's Trebbiano
D'Abruzzo DOC Quercianera. This is a straw-like pale yellow from
the heart of the Valle del Sangro in the Abruzzo region
of Southeast Italy. Under the nose, you'll take in a floral bouquet
accented with hints of ripe yellow fruit. This well-structured, dry
100% Trebbiano grape is nicely balanced, fruity and persistent.
Well, I'll be darn. I didn't get a spot of red sauce
on my white tie and tails.
I hope you enjoyed the Semolina No. 4 in Red Sauce
Minor. Do let me know how you faired in "conducting"
your own version of it. In the meantime, I've gotta dash over to the
tuxedo rental shop before it closes and return this monkey suit.