Pasta Saucy Sauce Cream Red White Vinegar Chef Ninamarie Bojekian NJ Franklin Lakes  Olive Oil Lemon Greek Italian

On occasion, I like to look around my pantry and place myself back in a different era—using what I have, and making it work.  Like my grandfather’s grandmother, cooking with what my grandchildren could get their hands on that week.   This pasta dish is one of those dishes.  Nothing fancy, but rich with flavor that has a punch.  The quick pan sauce is based with a little cream and some red wine vinegar, which makes it round and smooth with a tang.

To finish this dish off right, you need to top it with 5 garnishes: pecorino, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and chard arugula.  The chard arugula adds a slight smoky deep zest to it.


Servers  4-6

1 LB of Pasta, preferably spaghetti or thin linguini

2 Large Shallots, finely chopped

4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

2/3 C Fennel, finely chopped (if you don’t have fennel…don’t sweat it)

2/3 C Olive Oil (plus 2 TBS)

1/3 C Red Wine Vinegar

3/4 C Chicken Stock or Broth

½ C Heavy Cream

½ tsp Red Chili Flake, or as desired

Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 TBS Plain Bread Crumbs

4 TBS Locatelli Romano, Pecorino or Parmesan, grated

1 Lemon, zested

1/4 C Fresh Parsley, chopped

2 C Arugula

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.  While water is on, work on the sauce

In a large sauce pan, heat 2/3 cup of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, garlic & fennel and sweat until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add red chili flake- if you like a nice spicy kick, add a little more.  Add the vinegar and chicken stock and increase heat to high to bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, just until the liquids slightly reduce and the flavors meld.  Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and stir.

Add salt to the boiling water, and then add the pasta.  Don’t cook the pasta past al dente’!   Say that three times. Remove the cooked pasta from the boiling water and move it right to the simmering sauce in the pan.  Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the pan as well and toss.  Continue to simmer everything altogether for a few more minutes, then remove from heat.

Heat a separate non-stick pan over high heat until smoking hot.  Add 2 TBS of olive oil to the pan and swirl.  Place the arugula in the smoking hot pan and let sit for 1 minute, then removed from pan and reserve for garnish.

To plate: divide pasta into desired portions and top each serving with pecorino, lemon zest, bread crumbs, parsley & arugula and serve!

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