A tribute to God

My experiment at cooking with scorchingly hot chilli!

Corallini pasta with beef and pancetta in a chilli and tomato sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • A bunch of basil, leaves picked and stalks diced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, medium heat, with seeds and pith removed, diced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, medium heat, whole
  • 2 tins of whole plum tomatoes (400g each)
  • A dash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp “Wrath of God” chilli sauce made by Scorpion Chilli, give or take depending on how masochistic and/or sadistic you are
  • 800g beef filét at room temperature, trimmed, cut into 4 (hopefully at least 2 inch thick) equal pieces
  • 8 pieces rolled pancetta, roughly shredded
  • 400g corallini, or any other small dried pasta
  • 40g iodised salt
  • Mild extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 handfuls freshly grated parmesan

Method

  1. Fill a pot with 4 litres of water set to slowly boil
  2. Heat a pan with a dash of olive oil at low-to-medium heat
  3. Add the garlic, let it heat into the oil for around 30 seconds to a minute
  4. Add the chopped basil stalks, half the leaves, and the diced chilli
  5. Add the plum tomatoes and the whole chilli, increasing the heat to medium
  6. Without smashing the whole chilli, use a wide spatula to break up the whole tomatoes
  7. Add the dash of red wine vinegar, season to taste then leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes (stir from time to time!)
  8. Meanwhile, rub down the beef in oil, sea salt and pepper
  9. When the sauce has 20–15 minutes left, add the “Wrath of God” chilli sauce before heating a second pan at medium-to-high heat, also with a dash of olive oil
  10. Fry the shredded pancetta until the attached fat turns translucent, then shake off and add to the sauce
  11. Add the beef to the now empty pan and leave to sit for 7 minutes (or until a hint of blood forms on the top,) then turn to the other side
  12. By this time the water should have boiled, so add the iodised salt, turn up the heat to high and once it resumes boiling, add the pasta
  13. Once the second side of the beef has done about 5 minutes, it should be medium-rare: remove from pan and slice into around 1.5" x 0.25" thick chunks
  14. Strain the pasta, remembering to keep a bowl’s worth of middle pasta water
  15. Add the beef chunks to the sauce, mixing it carefully and removing from heat
  16. Remove and discard the whole chilli from the sauce
  17. If the sauce has thickened too much, mix in a dash of the pasta water
  18. Serve 4 portions of the pasta with a decent amount of saucy goodness on top
  19. Dress with a few fresh basil leaves and the grated parmesan

Presto! Yum eats for 4 hungry gods, or 6 demi-gods.

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