Hungry for supple strands of pappardelle smothered in deep red sauce?
You’ll be forgiven if that’s exactly what you think this is.
Yet it’s not.
Peer closer to discover it’s not noodles at all, but a clever tangle of egg omelet strips instead.
“Charred Red Pepper Sauce with Omelet Noodles” is a genius recipe from the new “Mezcla” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
“Mezcla” is Spanish for “mix,” “blend,” or “fusion,” which aptly describes the food by its author, Ixta Belfrage. It’s the first solo cookbook by this disciple of Yotam Ottolenghi, who worked for five years at his Nopi restaurant in London, before moving on to work at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.
Belfrage considers this cookbook a tribute to the three countries that have most shaped her, and her style of cooking: Italy, where she lived as a child; Brazil, from which her mother hails; and Mexico, where her paternal grandfather lived.
Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.
I think of sauce as jewelry.
It adds that extra bling to lift something from ordinary to extraordinary.
Like fastening a bold, statement necklace over the neckline of a plain black dress, adding a fabulous sauce to a mundane chicken breast or steamed broccoli turns it into something special and worthy of taking notice.
That’s what I love about “The Sauce Book” (Kyle) by Paul Gayler, former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The book, of which I received a review copy, includes 300 sauces from all over the globe. Find everything from the classic Bearnaise (for steak) and Porcini Cream Sauce (for veal or chicken or gnocchi) to Peruvian Aji Sauce (for shrimp), Wasabi and Ginger Dressing (for shellfish), and Toffee Sauce (for ice cream).
I was drawn to the Agliata, an Italian sauce that is sort of like pesto’s distant cousin.