Long before chef Jamie Oliver crossed the pond to healthy-up American schools, he made his mark whipping up good local grub. (He grew up cooking in his dad's pub in Essex, England.) In his new book, Jamie's America: Easy Twists on Great American Classics, and More (Hyperion; $37.50), the London-based chef-who is a married father of three girls (with another baby on the way)-eats his way across the States, sharing his take on our best regional dishes. We love his New York-style pasta recipe:
NYC Vodka Arrabbiata
Jamie says: Adding vodka to tomato sauce is an Italian-American twist I really love. Don't worry-you can serve it to the whole family because the alcohol burns off, leaving a wonderful flavor and fragrance behind. Fresh herbs and lemon zest add exceptional flavor, too.
1pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
4 hot red chiles
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped, divided
2 anchovy fillets
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
3 shots vodka
1 pound uncooked spaghetti
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
Makes: 6 servings
1. Prick chiles 6-8 times with a small, sharp knife. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat; add chiles and olive oil. Cook 5 minutes. Turn heat up to full whack; add garlic, parsley stalks, and anchovies, stirring constantly. When garlic starts to become golden, add tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper; bring mixture to a boil. Add vodka, and reduce heat to simmer. Gently bash up chiles with a wooden spoon.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss immediately with sauce.
3. Divide pasta evenly among bowls. Roughly chop reserved parsley leaves; sprinkle over pasta. Sprinkle lemon zest over pasta; squeeze in juice, catching pits in your hands. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired; serve immediately with a salad.
Calories 485; Fat 15g (sat 2g, mono 9g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 13mg; Protein 16g; Carbohydrate 64g; Sugars 6g; Fiber 4g;
Iron 4mg; Sodium 708mg; Calcium 77mg
From JAMIE'S AMERICA, by Jamie Oliver. Photographs by David Loftus. Copyright Jamie Oliver, 2009, 2010. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.