This recipe is pretty simple, and we’ve put it in layman’s terms so that hopefully anyone can follow along. A lot of this is about your taste, so be aware of how much hot stuff you’re putting in here. The recipe below resulted in a whole lot of sauce, which had a very nice, understated and delayed burn. It wasn’t so hot that we were sweating while eating but it definitely heated up our mouths.
This recipe is by Lucy Benchley. She did all the hard work - I just ate it.
Also, we went to the Alamo’s resident beer nerd Jim Hughes for his recommendation of what beer to pair with a spicy-ass meal like this. His recommendation at the end.
2 (28 oz) large cans of diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) small can tomato paste
2 (14 oz) cans of tomato sauce (completely unseasoned; make sure you read the label.)
2 palmsful oregano
2 palmsful basil
2 palmsful crushed red pepper
Pinches of Cayenne pepper, depending on your need for heat (I use 4)
(After handling the Cayenne pepper I’d wash my hands)
3 bay leaves (kind of optional, but it definitely makes a difference)
1.5 cups red wine
2 swirls of olive oil
Salt to taste (I use a couple of teaspoons)
1 cup water
Butt-load of garlic, really, just as much as you can stand,minced (I use 10-15 cloves)
2 more swirls of Olive Oil
1 chunk of butter, unsalted
1 Chili pepper
Simmer tomatoes,paste, sauce, pepper,spices, wine, olive oil, salt and water in large pot for about an hour. You’ll do this on a low to medium flame. I don’t know what to tell you if you’re using an electric stove top.
In a separate pan, preferably a frying pan, saute garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add butter, onion, and pepper. Cook until shallots are slightly brown-ish.
Add this to sauce and cook for an additional 90 minutes or so until sauce reaches the consistency of… a tomato sauce.
Start the water boiling for your pasta (we used just good old spaghetti) 20 minutes to a half hour before you think the sauce is done. The sauce can keep simmering longer if you like, just keep stirring it so you don’t burn it.
We found that a shaved pecorino romano cheese went really nicely with this, if you’re feeling fancy. Otherwise your standard grated cheese will be fine.
Garlic bread goes nicely with this meal. At the very least you need A bread of some sort - the Italian way to eat pasta is to sop up the extra sauce with your bread at the end! Since you’ve been doing lots of work on this recipe already, can I recommend buying frozen garlic bread? It’s often not that bad.
Don’t eat the bay leaves!
Jim recommends Samael’s Ale from Avery Brewing in Colorado. Here’s how they describe this Ale:
Samael’s Ale is a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate. Notes for 2007 - With the addition of an additional roasted malt, Samael’s now delivers subtle bitterness to add balance to the natural sweetness.