CHEF’S CHOICE - Pasta Venetia
By Chef Martín Bleck of Underground Café & Coffeehouse
“I first had this style of Arrabiata in an Italian Restaurant outside of Taos, New Mexico, and liked the ground consistency of the sauce with the shaved garlic so much I adapted the technique into my own repertoire. Over the years, my wife, Janet, and I went back to the restaurant several times, and each time it was served in the more traditional chunky style, so I guess we got lucky the first time around, but it remains my favorite pasta dish to this day. I like to add a lot of freshly ground black pepper, and less of the more typical red pepper to spice it up; it lends an extra layer of depth.” — Martin Bleck, co-owner/chef of Underground Café & Coffeehouse
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon (or to taste) black pepper
½ tablespoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
1 cup red wine
½ tablespoon (or to taste) salt
8 garlic cloves, thinly shaved
1 10-ounce package defrosted frozen peas
* pasta (something small with twists that will hold the sauce, like Gamelli or Rotini)
1. Sauté the onion in olive oil in a large pot; when translucent, add sausage, and sauté until cooked through. Drain fat if desired. Add tomato, tomato paste, oregano, basil, black pepper, red pepper flakes and red wine; bring to a simmer. Cook for about ½ an hour, and adjust seasonings and salt. 2. Remove from heat and process in small batches in a food processor to a medium-grind consistency. 3. Return to heat, and add shaved garlic; simmer for about another ½ hour. To serve: Toss with peas and hot cooked pasta; top with freshly grated Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.
Wine Suggestion: Bold reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, etc.)
Underground Café & Coffeehouse
The Underground is locally owned and operated by Martin and Janet Bleck, who moved to Oregon from tropical Miami to fulfill their dream of living in “the most beautiful state in the nation” and participating in its vibrant and burgeoning food and wine scene.
Martin, a chef, and Janet, a caterer, both come from the world of high-end, off-premise, full-service event planning, and “took on the Underground with the mistaken notion that it might provide a slower pace.”
The Underground Café & Coffeehouse is located at 1002 N. Springbrook Dr., Newberg. For more information, hours and menu items, call 503-554-1843.