One of my favorite shows is Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This would be my dream job if I weren’t a vegetarian. I love the different places food takes Guy to and I enjoy his enthusiasm for food. I’m also pretty certain I know when he REALLY loves a dish and when he thinks it’s just ‘okay.’ If he’s not grunting and moaning with his first bite then he’s not in love. His passion for food is authentic and he gives these chefs and restaurant owners so much joy. My whole family gets a kick out of Guy and his adventures.
Last week Guy was on a “road trip” to Florence, Italy. He and the Triple D crew must have been in road dawg heaven. It was a culinary dream and so many great dishes experienced, but one that caught my attention was a simply made pasta, Spaghetti Mangiafuoco. As I stated last week, I’m looking to spend as little time in the kitchen in the summer so this quick flavorful dish was etched in my consciousness.
The restaurant was in Collodi, Italy and run by a husband and wife team. The husband was a very gregarious host that spoke English; the wife was the chef and from what I could ascertain spoke minimal English. But the little she spoke and demonstrated cooking this dish made the flavors emanate through the television. I’ve made similar pasta sauces before but this simply made sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes, herbs and spices infused in the olive oil then tossed in pasta has quickly become a ‘go to’ pasta base for me. As I’ve emphasized in the past, you just can’t underestimate the power of herbs, and fresh basil and oregano should always be in your tomato based pasta dishes. The chef used fresh parsley (which I didn’t find out until after I made my version) and anchovy paste which I obviously did not use as a vegetarian. I added shitake mushrooms and along with the chef’s use of red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and capers for a boost of flavor, I think I captured the essence of an authentic Spaghetti Mangiafuoco. Mangiafuoco means fire eater in Italian – not sure about eating fire but you will bring the heat to the table with this dish!
Feed the wellness in you!
- 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 -1 tsp of red pepper flakes (dependent on your taste)
- 1 tsp capers
- 1 tbl chopped garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh basil
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- whole wheat spaghetti
- Cook two servings of pasta according to directions.
- Set aside and add about 1 tsp of olive oil (I used infused olive oil with garlic, basil and red pepper that I keep on hand)
- In a large sauce pan, on medium heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add red pepper flakes, garlic, and capers and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and shitake mushrooms; saute for an additional 5 minutes on a low heat.
- Fold in your pasta and mix well.
- Add your basil and oregano leaves.
- Mix and serve.