Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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May 29, 2012

Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce

Libations used: 1 bottle of beer
Libations left: None, but crack open another bottle of beer while the sauce simmers.
It may have been Memorial Day weekend, but I wasn't doing any BBQ'ing myself.  I was totally craving pasta after a week of eating tons of kale and salads—I needed the carbs.  Plus, a bunch of my neighbors were around and were HUNGRY, so I needed something easy to make and serve.  Whenever the Lush Chef starts cooking in her building, everyone comes out into the courtyard and starts sniffing around.  What can I say?

I had pinned this recipe for Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce from Saveur a while back, and I happened to have one lonely bottle of Bock beer in the fridge.  It was like kismet.  It's a puttanesca style pasta, and I loved how it included all sorts of yummy things like pickles, capers, anchovies and sun-dried tomatoes. I held back on the spice because not everyone can handle the heat.  For some reason I couldn't track down any red Fresno chiles, so I used an orange Fresno pepper—hey, they both have Fresno in their name.  Yes, the sauce takes almost 2 hours to make, but it's worth it.  The smells are amazing and once you make homemade sauce, there's just no going back to the canned stuff.

Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce - serves 4-6

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy filets, chopped
  • 4 red Fresno chiles, seeded and chopped (I used 1 Fresno pepper)
  • 4 gherkins, chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz Bock beer (German, Italian, use whatever you find)
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb linguini or scialatielli pasta
  • 8 caper berries for garnish
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

- Heat oil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add capers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, chiles, gherkins and onions.
- Stir occasionally, until ingredients are browned, for about 20 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes and beer and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Purée sauce in a blender and then return sauce to the pan over low heat.
- Stir in olives and season with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water (to loosen the sauce, if needed).
- Transfer the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine.
- Serve pasta garnished with caper berries and parsley.


lynn said...

droooooool. so glad you posted this!

Suzy Thompson said...

Beer sauce sounds really great paired with pasta. I've been trying to learn new recipes lately, I can't wait to try this out.

daniellaprice30 said...

Your pasta recipe is so unique! I would surely want to try it for my family. I better buy chili sauce online soon and taste this delicious recipe.