- Test Kitchen Talks
- Season 1
- Episode 21
5 Pro Chefs Make Their 5-Ingredient Pasta Recipes
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Released on 06/16/2022
I'm constantly moving it around.
I still have garlic pieces in there
and I don't necessarily want it
to sit in one place for too long.
I'm also pretending like I have a lot to do
because there's only five ingredients. [laughing]
Today we're in the test kitchen
making five ingredient pasta dishes.
I crave pasta every single day.
Pasta is sort of like
looking into a mirror and being like, who am I today?
[Zaynab] Five ingredients is enough to make something
that doesn't feel like you've sacrificed on flavor at all.
Pasta for me is almost equal to life. [laughing]
You know, there was some rules to this challenge
five ingredients being the main one
and we've had a couple freebies,
you get the pasta being one of 'em.
This is the one I'm going to be using,
it's a little anelletti.
I refer to it as an adult SpaghettiO.
It's just a really fun, easy shape to eat.
It's great in really loose sauces.
I got some extra virgin olly oil,
some butter and some salt.
They gave me salt and pepper, very kind once again.
So those are my free ingredients.
What I think is nice about this pasta dish is that it,
I personally like food cold and leftovers.
I think certain pasta dishes,
especially ones that aren't like a cream poured
but more of a tomato,
you can kind of get away with eating 'em cold,
a little better.
It'll be a nice saucy, fully covered, little noodle ring-o
and little cheesy, little shrimpy.
Everyone's made a version of this
at least some point in their life.
We're gonna halve the shrimp real quick.
Just right down long ways.
I'll nip it at the tail.
So we just get the full meat and the tail stay on there.
And I like how they curl
instead of just being like a, just like a, huh?
It does like a, you know? [whistling]
And it'll make a nice little bite.
Let's pick some herbs real quick.
Parsley, you know, it is versatile.
I love it, it's got a deep vegetal flavor.
All right, so we've got a parsley and then a little tarragon
and I'm just gonna pick the leaves off on this one.
All right, we're gonna give the parsley just a little rough,
a little rough go.
Let's get the water going.
Yeah, that's about right.
We're gonna salt it to taste like the Atlantic Ocean
not the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean.
And what I do like about dried pasta
is that you know, you can,
it comes together pretty quick.
The hardest part's boiling the water.
Little olly oil, couple tablespoons there, no big deal.
We're gonna add this slowly all right?
I forgot I didn't need to sweat anything.
So adding your loose tomatoes to your hot oil,
you're gonna make a mess.
That was a big no-no.
But we did it anyway.
You know, I got a little, ADD, I suffered my whole life.
So I don't want to go walking around
and start telling stories about squirrels or something
'cause then we're gonna overcook our pasta.
Oh yeah, yeah, go time.
Whenever you make pasta, everyone knows this,
and if you don't, now you do,
save a little bit of the water
so you can help build your emulsified sauce.
We cooked our pasta, al dente
and now we're just gonna finish it off in our sauce.
Yeah, there we go.
And these are gonna cook quick, like real quick.
We're got our pasta water.
If you learn anything from this episode,
is put a little bit of butter in your tomato sauce.
A little Parmesan cheese here
and now we add the herbs real quick.
They don't need to go cooking heavy.
Boom, that's kind of it.
Those shrimp are done,
we're gonna give it 30 seconds on low.
All right, we're ready.
As easy as it gets, you know?
Plate this bad boy right up.
We're gonna add some more Parmesan cheese
and little, little black pepper.
Yeah a little anelletti shrimp, adult SpaghettiO,
for all of those viewers out there
that weren't allowed eat SpaghettiOs as a child like myself,
this one's for you.
It's saucy, very saucy and that's that's good.
It's actually, it almost does have,
kind of a SpaghettiO, I mean that those tomatoes
do have a little bit of a sweetness to 'em,
nice little marriage of flavors.
Again, nice little marriage of simple flavors
that you know anyone can do, come together super quick,
like I said, the longest parts making the pasta
and you can even do that the day before.
I wanted this to be super easy, super low lift,
so everything's gonna happen in one pan.
It's my spicy, creamy, saucy pantry pasta.
For my pasta choice I decided on bucatini
because I think for a light creamy sauce,
a long noodle's really nice and bucatini is tubular.
There's a whole running through the center
which is a great place for more sauce to land.
Everything comes together in one pan.
So you're not like worrying about a collider,
boiling a huge pot of water for like 15 minutes.
You can literally start and finish in like one sitting,
it'll take you 20 minutes.
So I'm gonna start by just putting the pasta
straight in the pan.
You wanna finally chop the parsley.
It should sort of like melt into the sauce.
It's definitely important to get everything done
before you go to the stove
because everything comes together so quickly at the stove
and you wanna sort of be active
while you're there tossing and turning the pasta.
I like to thinly slice the garlic
so it can sort of melt in to the pasta sauce.
I'm gonna grate parm, and I'm gonna add capers.
And then Calabrian chili paste.
This stuff can be pretty spicy
so if you have a low spice tolerance
I wouldn't use anything more than like a teaspoon.
The chilies almost get a little bit pickley from the vinegar
and it's salty, it just brings a lot of heat and flavor,
as opposed to just using chili flakes
where you're just gonna get heat.
So almost everything that I need is in the saucepan.
So I'm gonna take it to the stove
and we're gonna finish it off there.
I'm gonna add some salt, some olive oil,
two and a quarter cups of water for six ounces of noodles
so that everything cooks in the right amount of time.
Put the heat up to high
and bring it to a boil.
While it heats up I'm just gonna
move the pasta around a little bit
just to get it started
and you wanna keep doing this throughout the process.
I know it might seem nerve wracking
to put your pasta and water in one pan, but it's super easy
and it works really well because you get pasta water
from the fact that the boiling is happening in this one pan.
So you get that creamy, starchy quality.
The pasta cooks through,
it absorbs the right amount of water,
leaving you with enough to get a sauce as well.
Another really great thing is that the pasta
sort of like swimming in this like flavorful water,
then all of that is sort of being absorbed into the noodle.
You can see that the water is starting to get like murky
and that's from the starches releasing into the water.
And so we're already sort of getting a thicker sauce.
This needs like another minute or so
so I'm gonna add the parsley
and most of the parm, it looks perfect.
There's like a little bit of a glossy sauce happening.
I'm gonna just taste it to make sure
it's fully cooked through.
I'm gonna finish it with a little bit more
fresh parsley, some parm
and then my freebie ingredient, black pepper.
It's done, it's ready, it looks so cute.
So you can definitely taste the capers.
It's nice and spicy from the Calabrian chili paste,
the garlic gives it some nice depth
and the parm just, you know, amps up the saltiness
and gives it that creamy texture.
I love pasta and this is my favorite way to make it
when I'm feeling lazy.
And I just don't wanna bother
but I still want a lot of flavor.
Okay so I'm really excited
to be sharing this pasta dish with you.
It's inspired by the time that I spent in Italy,
I lived in Florence for five years
and a lot of the dishes that we would eat
after coming home from a night out
would be the most simple dishes but also the most delicious.
My dish today is pancetta with piselli,
which are green peas.
I'm gonna work today with a ditalini,
they're really cute, really tiny
and I think that they're gonna soak up
the sauce really well.
This pasta dish works for me
because it is fatty
and has a lot of flavor from the pancetta,
the peas bring a nice color,
a bright punch a little bit of texture,
and it's lightly saucy from the white wine
but the cheese definitely adds everything
that you needed to make it amazing.
I like to smash the garlic
because I feel like the flavor of the garlic actually
is able to come out without getting too bitter,
this way you get to lightly infuse the oil
but still get the flavor.
The trick for me personally for really great pasta
is salting your water,
I think a lot of people forget to do that.
These ditalini pasta are really tiny.
So the cooking time on these is gonna be much faster
than regular pasta.
So I'm gonna wait a little bit to throw that in
so that the timing of everything can come together.
I'm gonna use a mix of olive oil and butter.
I like using butter and olive oil
because the mix of the fat,
it's gonna be more creamy, it's gonna be richer.
So as it goes, I'm gonna go ahead
and throw my smashed garlic in.
But I'm just gonna let the garlic flavors
infuse with the oil.
The pancetta also is very savory, has a lot of fat in it.
So we can just be aware of the amount of salt
that we're adding in the end.
The reason why I like pancetta
is because as you can see,
there's a lot more meat to fat ratio.
Whereas I think with bacon when it comes sliced,
it just melts, you don't get that bite of fattiness
that you're looking for.
So I'm actually gonna throw my pasta in here now
and then make sure that you
actually stir your pasta in the pot
so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
The pancetta is starting to render out the fat
and then this is the perfect time to add the white wine.
Woo, white wine will help bring an acidity to this pasta
and helps give you a nice little vesa for the sauce as well.
So the texture on the noodles that I'm looking for
is al dente, people are like, what is al dente?
And it means to the tooth.
That means you want it to have a nice bite to it.
I think we're there.
Go ahead and add some pasta water.
I'm gonna add a little bit of butter
to emulsify this pasta, add more flavor,
make it a little bit more creamy.
I'm gonna go ahead and add my frozen peas.
I think so much of like the American culture,
it's like add cream to make it creamy.
If you have butter and you have the pasta water at home
that's all you really need.
And I mean, look at all this
like beautiful fat from the pancetta,
you wanna be able to taste the ingredients.
If you add cream, you're gonna take that away.
All right, so it looks like we're ready to plate.
All it needs is the cheese.
So I've got parm, that I'm shaving on here.
I'm doing a little pre-shave
and then I'm gonna mix everything together.
It definitely is like really cutey using ditalini,
yeah, I mean, it kind is like a little kid dish,
but I mean, it's perfect.
I'm gonna add a little bit of black pepper
and then finish it with a little bit of olive oil,
All the ingredients in this dish
are like almost the same size.
I'm always the type of person
that's searching for the perfect bite.
The peas add a nice like sweetness,
like creaminess texture to it.
The cheese is nice and sharp.
The black pepper adds a nice little hint of spice.
It just like really takes me back home to Italy.
I think that if I was late night drunk
I'd be really happy eating this too. [laughing]
I'm making a very special summer balsamic pasta,
sun gold tomatoes are the shining star of this dish.
I typically grow them in my backyard every year.
They're sweeter than most other tomatoes
so I always go with them over
like your regular cherry tomato or aroma tomato.
Today I'm working with these fun,
little trumpet shaped noodles.
Let me tell you about this texture here, okay,
those rigid little pieces along the trumpet shapes
you'll get some garlic treasures.
You'll get, get a little piece of tomato,
worn down tomato that gets stuck in those ridges
or in the little trumpets.
And it's just like these nice little flavors on flavors.
I'm going to mince garlic.
I love a fresh herb moment whenever I get the chance.
So we're just gonna do some nice torn chunks of basil.
That's it, that's the prep, it's nice and simple.
So I put my hair up because you know,
we don't need any dreads on fire,
you know what I'm saying?
So, oil's feeling pretty good.
Gonna go ahead and add that garlic.
We're also gonna add a generous amount of red pepper flakes,
I like heat.
Garlic's looking brown,
we're gonna add our tomatoes, our halved tomatoes.
Cooking half of the tomatoes
in this fashion where they're halved
it's gonna create this juicy, jammy sauce.
And you're just gonna want to
allow those tomatoes to gently cook down.
After you kind of see your tomatoes glistening a bit,
you're gonna wanna apply a little pressure
to those tomatoes,
'cause that's gonna be the base for your sauce.
So at this point,
actually our tomatoes are starting to break down.
So I'm just gently applying pressure
with the back of the spoon.
And you can notice the sauce is getting kind of,
glittery and shimmering a bit, which is a great sign.
I'm gonna add our basil
that we tore and I'm also gonna add salt.
And our trumpets are in.
These tomatoes should reduce a bit
and get like nice and softened
so that you can get like these nice juicy,
textural bursts of flavor while you're eating your pasta.
Oh man, this sauce is looking delish.
Getting that basil, garlic, deep tomato smell.
I love it so much.
It's so rich and fatty and flavorful.
It's like exactly where I want it.
So I'm just adding balsamic and it'll kind of mute out
and then we'll add some more at the end
for an additional burst of flavor
because I really want that balsamic to shine through.
All right, let's try our pasta.
That's it, we're gonna add our pasta to that sauce.
And you can see it just provides this really gentle coating.
You can already see the pasta sauce and the basil
and the garlic is sticking to those ridges
which is really nice.
Look at this glimmering goddess here, okay?
We're going to get some basil in there, fresh basil.
And I like a little additional balsamic glaze over the top.
It just looks really pretty as well.
And a little bit goes a long way
but it really provides a nice depth of flavor.
This is my sun gold balsamic pasta dish.
She's glossy, she's elegant.
She's sweet, salty, fatty.
Especially when you get like a full tomato
it just bursts in your mouth
and adds to that saucy feel.
Dish comes together quickly.
Nice texture play, very bright,
good punch of heat and it's really good, hot or cold.
So I think it's the perfect summer pasta dish.
If you're only gonna have five ingredients
might as well just do the most luxurious thing that you can
with what you have and treat yourself
with all of these really incredible ingredients
that maybe you don't usually use
but feel special because they are.
I am making a squid ink based pasta
with cured egg yoke and bottarga.
I chose to work with the spaghetti alla chitarra
if you look very closely to the actual shape of the noodle,
it's more of a square shape
and that's because it's pressed through
this sort of like guitar string device,
it kind of creates these very like hard edges.
It's not too far away from something
that you've maybe already had
but this is like a little added detail
to make your night feel a little bit more fancy.
So oftentimes you'll hear it referred to as squid ink
today using cuddle fish ink because
it's a bit easier to find and you can buy it online.
It kind of adds this unexpected, fishy, salty flavor.
One of my favorite things to do at home
that I keep in my pantry is curing egg yokes.
This is a two to one salt to sugar mix,
create a divot drop the egg in,
cover it up with the same mixture, super easy to make.
And it adds a bit of richness to your dish.
I'm gonna rinse them off
'cause I don't want any of the excess salt
but it has a sort of creaminess on the centers,
like you break it open kind of like a caramel candy
and it kind of adds more wetness to your dish.
Bottarga is the panchetta of the sea, if you will.
One of my favorite pastas to eat is a carbonara
and so I wanted something that had that jowl,
panchetta like feel but still in the seafood family.
And it's going to add that depth in contrast to the dish
that I'm looking for.
I'm using a white wine, this is a Pecorino,
just something that's a bit more dry and crisp.
First of all, if something that you're not gonna drink
then I'm probably not gonna add it to my food
and I think that also you should treat yourself
while you're making pasta.
So of course I'm gonna use a quarter cup of this wine
but what happens with the rest of it?
That's kind of my business.
And I'm waiting for my garlic to get hot. [laughing]
I'm going to add my squid ink.
What we're looking for is,
not only the color to add some sort of characteristics
because the dish is so simple
but we're also looking for that sort of well rounded,
sea foodie flavor to kind of come out as well.
And add about a quarter cup of white wine to the pan.
Go ahead and drop my noodles in,
all right, six minutes.
This is looking good.
Garlic is obviously very present.
And so is that sort of fishiness
that you're getting from the actual squid ink
but what I'm also gonna do is add butter into it.
And butter also helps to kind of like
bring everything together in the pan.
Once it cooks down enough
we want for the sauce to be slightly sticky
but we also want it to be glossy and just kind of velvety.
Like you kind of scrape the bottom of your pan,
you can also see how quickly the water
pools back into place.
That's how you know that the evaporation
of the wine is happening
and everything's kind of coming together.
I'm gonna quickly transfer the noodles
to making sure it's coated properly in the pan,
become super black, super luscious.
So I'm gonna top the squid ink pasta with my cured egg yolk.
And then what we're gonna do
is we're going to just give a good dusting
of our bottarga on top of that.
And so we have this beautiful sort of like
golden yellow cloud
and then for good measure because I think you do always need
like a little bit of spice
is I'm just gonna shave like whole pepper corns.
So this is my fancy as hell squid ink,
cuddle fish in parenthesis,
bottarga pasta with cured egg yoke.
All right, so let's see what happens.
Oh, she juicy.
I could cry.
It's like a Gushers.
Does anyone have Gushers growing up?
Honestly, a little finishing salt, why not?
Bottarga has this really nice, cured fish moment.
So on top of the squid ink itself,
it is adding so much flavor
and also like another textural element to the whole dish.
This is satisfying bot only because it is
a delicious feeling meal
but also feels like it is something special
with not a ton of ingredients.
And that's really what you're looking for is like, you know
if you're coming home from a busy day of work
and you don't really feel like cooking
and you don't wanna put too much time in it,
this came out together in like less than 20 minutes,
give or take the curing of the egg.
However, if you have in your pantry already
you're good to go.
Ugh, I don't know how
you're supposed to make this dish without garlic.
Damn you and your five ingredients.
I don't know how I left garlic out.
I probably just assumed that it was like a freebie, like,
what kind of sick world is this?
I gotta choose parsley over garlic?
Never doing this again.
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