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Saturday, December 29, 2007

A new twist on Arrabiata

My current favourite kitchen accomplice is vegetarian, doesn't like courgettes, aubergines or mushrooms, and has a very precise palate. There's no point trying to slip parsley or coriander into a dish - the Accomplice will notice and pick them out. If she doesn't like the food offered, she politely declines; if an idea is mooted that she doesn't approve of, such as anything with raisins in, she realistically mimes retching.

In spite of all this, she is an enthusiastic and creative cook, unfazed by being asked to act as pastry chef in a strange Spanish kitchen, undaunted by the tedious physical labour of rolling pasta and punctiliously polite in the kitchen.

We went to a local Italian restaurant recently, where she ordered Insalate Tricolore as a starter and then a main course of Spaghetti Arrabiata. When the salad came, she ate the tomato and the mozzarella but reserved the avocado slices. When the spaghetti came, she explained that the combination of spicy tomato sauce and avocado was what she was aiming for.

We have since experimented a little bit, and come up with this recipe.

Rakhi’s Arrabiata sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1 avocado
1 ball of mozzarella
Grated parmesan

Heat the olive oil, gently fry the garlic and chilli briefly. Add the onion and fry for ten to fifteen minutes (or until soft), then add the tomatoes. Allow to simmer for ten minutes. Then just before serving, add half the avocado, chopped, and puree the whole.
To serve, pour sauce over pasta (whatever shape you like). Then, chop the remaining half avocado into chunks, tear the mozzarella into small pieces, and scatter both over the pasta. Serve with grated parmesan.