Categories
bacon Italian recipes

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

A couple months ago, my friend Steph asked me what was in Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, which just so happens to be one of my favorite Italian dishes. The minimalist combination of tomato sauce, fried pancetta and chili flake tossed with noodles (usually spaghetti or bucatini) is comfort food at its simplest and best.


Bucatini All'Amatriciana

I first fell in love with Amatriciana when it was a regular menu item at Buca di Beppo, the chain of kitschy, obnoxious, family-style Italian-American restaurants. I would have been happy replicating something similar to that version, but I was extremely pleased to see that Babbo Ristorante had posted their recipe online.


Italian Tomato Starter Sauce

Mainly due to laziness and because guanciale is not the readily available at Safeway, I took a few liberties with the ingredients. I picked up a box of Trader Joe’s Italian Tomato Starter Sauce, which I felt was basic enough to use instead of making a batch of tomato sauce as outlined in the original recipe. I also picked up some chopped pancetta because I couldn’t find whole or sliced pancetta. You can substitute bacon in a pinch, but you’ll get a much bolder flavor than intended. (which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it…) I used bucatini (thick round noodle with a hole in it) for this attempt, but my wife’s not a big fan of bucatini, so next time I do this, I’ll just use regular spaghetti.

Overall, this dish was really easy to make and the final results were great. If you’re not into spicy food, then adjust the amount of chili flakes to taste. Also, the Trader Joe’s Starter Sauce is a shortcut I’ll gladly take when making this dish again.

Categories
recipes seafood sous vide techniques

Wild Turbot Fillets (Sous Vide)

Trader Joe’s is one of our favorite places to buy groceries. We’re big fans of their frozen foods, especially their pizza, but we’ve never really explored the wonders of their flash-frozen seafood until now. Sous vide lends itself well to cooking seafood, and from what I’ve been reading, fish prepared sous vide is soft, tender and flaky.

The Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets caught my eye because they were already seasoned, and I figured I could just drop the bag in the water and be done with it.


Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets

Seasoned Wild Turbot Fillets

I heated up the water bath 113F/45C and cooked the fish for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, we took the fish out of the bag, reserving the juice. The fish is very fragile and soft, so be careful when moving it around. In a lightly buttered pan, sear the fish for about 30 seconds a side. Remove the fish from the pan and pour the juice from the bag into the pan to make a sauce. After cooking down the sauce a bit, spoon it on the fish and you’re done.

Here’s mine served with steamed rice and wilted spinach.


Plated Meal

The texture was just what I wanted—soft, tender, and flaky, and the impromptu pan sauce was a nice touch.

NOTES

  • 113F/45C is considered below “food safe” but if you’re serving the fish immediately and not storing it for later use, it should be fine. Also, pan searing before serving should also make the fish “safer.” Cooking it right in the bag that it came in also minimizes possible contamination.
  • You don’t have to use much butter…just coat the pan lightly.
  • Because the cooking time is so short, you could easily do this in a pot over the stove. Just make sure you can regulate the water temperature for 20 minutes or so.