Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fresh Pasta with Piri Piri Pepper Cream Sauce

The theme of the week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Some Like it Hot - And Spicy! We are cooking recipes from author Tessa Kiros and now that I have added all of her books to my cookbook collection, I should have no problem picking a recipe, right? Well, maybe I wasn't looking hard enough but I did have some trouble finding a spicy recipe that was veg friendly.

Finally I decided I'd go with something based on one of Tessa's recipe for Piri Piri Sauce from her book Piri Piri Starfish, the first book of Tessa's that I purchased when we started cooking her recipes months ago. I had no idea what a Piri Piri was, was it some sort of Portugese Starfish? Well, no. Piri Piri is a small hot pepper that is popular in Portuguese cuisine.

I knew I'd never be able to find such an ingredient locally, so I went to amazon and found some jarred piri piri peppers for sale, they were about $25 and you got 12 small jars of peppers. I love trying new things and I figured I would be able to use them for the piri piri sauce and have a ton left to add into other recipes and possibly substitute these in for those canned diced green chilies that are in lots of Mexican inspired recipes.

Here is the recipe I used as a base for the cream sauce...

Tomato Piri Piri Sauce
Tessa Kiros -- Piri Piri Starfish

1 cup olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes, about 3 and 1/2 ounces each, sliced (I used 4 smaller Roma tomatoes = about 11 ounces)
1 and 3/4 ounces of butter (about 3 tbsp)
generous 1/2 teaspoon salt
large pinch of sugar
6 dried piri piri chillies, or to taste, finely chopped (I used 6 jarred peppers in place of dried)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Recipe preface notes that this is especially good with grilled bread or over white rice, which is where I got the idea to use it as a pasta sauce base.

Heat the oil in a smallish heavy-based pan. Add the tomatoes and butter and simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, piri piris and garlic and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree roughly with a hand-held blender or food processor. If you like your sauce hotter at a pinch or so of ground piri piri.

Above photo is the sauce right when I added the peppers and garlic, before they had a chance to cook into the sauce, and below is a photo of the sauce after it had been pureed with the immersion blender.

Pour sauce into a sterilised jar, if you're not using immediately, and keep the surface covered with a layer of oil. Keep in the fridge and warm up or bring to room temperature to serve. This will keep for up to a month. Makes about 1 and 3/4 cups.


Part 2

I decided to use another Tessa Kiros recipe for the fresh pasta, I made the pasta in my lello pasta machine and used the linguine extrusion disc. The recipe preface says this can be made by hand or in a food processor. I'm just posting the ingredients so you can mix it and cut it however you prefer.

Fresh Egg Pasta -- Pasta all'uovo
Tessa Kiros -- Twelve

1 lb strong flour -- I just used all purpose, not sure if that was strong or not
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

To cook the pasta use 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil in the water to prevent it from sticking together and cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, depending on shape and thickness of pasta.

Pasta before and after cooking, and ready to be plated by Fred the Pastasaurus :) Had to throw a pic of Fred up here, I bought him a year or so ago and the kids just love him, how can you not smile when a dinosaur is serving your pasta?

Part 3

Okay here is the Piri Piri Cream Sauce part, that I made up for this IHCC theme...

1 cup Piri Piri Tomato Sauce (recipe mention previously)
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup shredded Parmigano Reggiano*
1/4 cup shredded Grana Padano cheese*
*(or just use 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan)

Gently heat the sauce and cream in a small sauce pan, add the cheese and whisk until smooth and creamy.

You can add a touch more cream if it is too thick, but I did not need to.

Serve over pasta...

with extra parmesan.

And there you have it. It really wasn't too spicy but it did have a little heat to it. The unique flavor of the piri piri was right there and it definitely took over the dish, but not in a bad way. I would probably recommend this as a side dish rather than a main dish pasta, because the flavor is kind of intense. My four year old, who usually loves spicy food, took one bite and was not interested. Oh-well. I think it was a nice introduction to piri piri peppers for me and can't wait to try them in some other recipes.

I'm sending this off to Ruth at Presto Pasta Nights for Presto Pasta Nights #249 -- thanks, Ruth!


Happy Cook / Finla said...

Nothing can be better than fresh pasta and this spicy sauce. Yumm

Kim said...

First of all, I have to say that I really love Fred the Pastasaurus. That is such a cute kitchen gadget! I think it's awesome that ordered the piri piris from Amazon. There are so many specialty foods I'd like to order and I never get around to it. The pepper cream sauce looks wonderful over your fresh pasta. You really went all out!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Love the pastasaurus!
I had a hard time finding spicy too - and would love to taste piri piri sometime. I have my daughter on the lookout for it in the city.
The pasta looks wonderful!

Ruth Daniels said...

Holy Cow!!! That is one amazing dish. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights

Jamie said...

This all looks so yummy! I love learning about different ingredients! Fred the Pastasaurus is a hoot!!

MM said...

Love the pasta server! And I'm super impressed that you made pasta.

I had a tough time finding a spicy recipe that spoke to me.

Your sauce looks fantastic.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I can't get piri piri peppers here, and not even the jarred ones either. But I think I could get a similar result by perhaps using some roasted red peppers, and a good dollop of chilli paste. I think this would make a fantastic pasta sauce, and I love that you made your own pasta.

Heather said...

I have not been able to find piri piri's anywhere, either. I was eyeing these on Amazon the other day, but I thought no way I'm buying a whole case (ha!). Sounds really good to me...especially with the homemade pasta.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Very impressive that you found the peppers and were bold enough to order a whole case. The pasta looks delicious and the sauce very creamy and good. I love Fred too. ;-)

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