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I’m Mari.
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recipes
Tuesday
Jun262012

aimo e nadia's spaghettoni with spring onion and hot pepper

Last year, Mr. Mari and I went to Milan and Marrakech with his sister and her husband. What an amazing trip! One of the standout dishes of our trip was a very simple and elegant pasta dish from il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia. It seemed to have only spring onions and hot red pepper as ingredients - very deceptively simple. When we returned to the States, we all set out to recreate the dish. We got close but no cigar. One and a half years later...

We were at the farmers market and Mr. Mari saw some spring onions. He suggested I make the dish since it had been a while since I last made it (a year and a half). I plum forgot so I trolled the Internet hoping someone else had made it and posted a recipe. Low and behold, the kind folks at Aimo e Nadia posted a recipe! I gathered the other ingredients and made it. Now, like most restaurant recipes, I don't think what they put forth to the world is the recipe. They're called trade secrets for a reason. So here's the version as I remember it tasting. 

Spaghetti with Spring Onions and Hot Pepper
Serves 4 as appetizer or 2 piggy adults as main course

12 ounces durum wheat spaghettoni or spaghetti (see note)
1-1/2 cups spring onion, thinly sliced - using only white and light-light green part (save the dark green ends for something else)
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
sea salt
4 basil leaves, thinly sliced lengthwise 

In a very large pan over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons oil. Add bay leaves, garlic and onions. Stir to prevent the onions from browning. Add stock up to 1 cup every few minutes, to keep the ingredients moistened and moving. Cook for 15 minutes or until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and add the crushed red pepper, thyme. Season with salt.

Place large pot of water on stove. Cover, bring to a boil, season water with salt. Allow water to come back to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to the package's instructions minus two minutes. Add pasta to your large pan, toss to coat. If your pasta looks really dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock. Add parsley, parmesan and toss. Season with salt. Add basil and remaining oil, toss and immediately serve. Buon appetito! 

Note: Get the best damn pasta you can find and afford. Since there aren't that many ingredients in this recipe, every single one counts. Don't think of the pasta as just a vehicle for the sauce since the flavor and texture of the pasta plays just as an important role. Try to get one that lists durum semolina or durum wheat not durum flour. Durum flour is finely ground semolina that (in my opinion) adds to the gumminess of some the more affordable pastas out there. This one from Benedetto Cavalieri is molto delizioso as is Gragnano.

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