Tyler Florence has been one of my favourite chefs for many years. His energy and passion for cooking are contagious and inspiring. I love that he keeps things simple and shares great tips that can really make the difference between "good" and "fabulous". This recipe for fettuccine with spicy tomato sauce is the ultimate comfort food. Tyler takes a basic tomato sauce and gives it a delicious Mediterranean twist by adding olives and chilis. Olives infuse this garlic-basil sauce with their rich, deep, salty aroma and chilis add some heat to it (hence the name "diablo" = devil). I became so fond of Kalamata olives after making this recipe. These large, deep purple, fleshy olives impart their tangy, fruity flavour to this dish and the vibrant purple colour makes it all the more appetizing. Watch first-hand how Tyler Florence prepares this mouthwatering Italian recipe and pay attention to his tips.
What you need
- 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil (high quality e.v.o.o. is more heat-resistant)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes (I added 1/4 tsp chili powder instead)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mixed pitted olives (black, green, Kalamata)
- fresh basil, for the sauce and to garnish
- 2 cans (400 g/14 oz each) chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (note: Tyler uses San Marzano tomatoes which are a type of plum tomatoes that most chefs use in pasta dishes)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or use fresh)
- salt, pepper to taste
- 400 g (14 oz) fettuccine - I used less than a full pack, to better enjoy the sauce :)
- Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the chili flakes, onion and a few torn basil leaves. Stir for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper (and chili powder, if you're not using flakes), add thyme and bay leaves (keep in mind that the olives are already salty, so you may want to add just a little salt and check the taste again after a few minutes). Keep the heat on medium and cover the pan with a lid. Bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced (the time will depend on how much liquid you have in the pan).
- Meanwhile pour enough water in a large pot to cook the pasta, add 1-2 Tb salt and bring to a boil. Add the fettuccine and fan them around so they don't stick together. Don't add oil to the water as it will form a barrier that will prevent the sauce from sticking to the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes and stir it occasionally. To check if the pasta is cooked, break one and if you can still see a white part in the centre, then it needs more time. Use a colander to drain the pasta and shake off any excess water. Do not rinse, as that will remove the natural starch coating of the pasta which helps the sauce stick.
- Add the pasta to the pan and fold it into the sauce using tongs or 2 tablespoons.
- Serve hot on a large plate and garnish with basil and your favourite vegan cheese.
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