RPM Italian executive chef makes an easy spaghetti dish - AmericaNowNews.com


RPM Italian executive chef makes an easy spaghetti dish

America Now co-host Bill Rancic owns a restaurant in Chicago called RPM Italian. The head chef, Doug Psaltis, has some tips to share with you about how the pros make one of the most classic Italian pasta dishes. And he used an old family recipe to do it.

You can't have an Italian restaurant without serving pasta, and to Bill, the more authentic it is the better. So RPM Chef Doug Psaltis took Bill's mother-in-law Mama DePandi's Bucatini Pomodoro and created his own spaghetti spin that any pasta lover can make. 

Bill chatted with Chef Psaltis about this unique pasta dish.

"What are the three biggest mistakes people make when trying to make the perfect pasta at home?" asked Bill.

"Probably overcooking the pasta, not having a real emulsification of pasta," says Psaltis, "A lot of times people say, 'I didn't strain it properly, there was all water in there.' But the goal is to have a little of the fat from either olive oil or cheese that kinda helps make emulsification so you get a real good flavor. I think one of the other problems is not using a great sauce and not finishing with great products."

"Do you put olive oil in the water too?," asked Bill.

"I don't. My dad used to tell me it makes the spaghetti not stick together, but I think if you just pay a little bit of attention, it won't stick together either," says Chef Psaltis.

And a great spaghetti dish doesn't have to be complicated. Doug's sauce uses three simple ingredients: San Marzano tomatoes, onions and olive oil.

"You take some garlic cloves and you kinda cooked them in olive oil first so you get garlic-flavored olive oil. So I'll take that and add it to a pan. Add a pinch of ground black pepper and a little bit of chili flake," says Chef Psaltis, "One of the things I want to do with the garlic, the pepper and the chili flakes is, I really want to toast them 'cuz we got all the flavors in there."

"So it's important to toast the spices that you're putting in?," asks Bill.

"Why we start like this is to get that flavor back up," says Chef Psaltis, "As you can see in here, it's just starting to toast a little bit. You can really start to smell it now. The Garlic's starting to get a little toasty, you can smell the pepper, smell the chili flakes, and the oil has a little color to it. At this point, we're going to add our tomato sauce to it. I'll also add some parsley to and we'll tear some fresh basil leaves to it. At this point now, we have our fresh spaghetti. I'd always say if you can buy fresh pasta, I'd go with that."

"And how long do you cook fresh spaghetti versus dried spaghetti?", asks Bill.

"About a third of the time. It'll be cooked in about 3 minutes," says Chef Psaltis, "Our spaghetti's done, and one of the most important things about cooking pasta is we want to use a little of that water here in our sauce. That water is gonna help us glaze our pasta."

Chef Psaltis says, "We'll finish it with our olive oil, get that fresh fruit flavor and then a little bit of cheese."

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