negroni sbagliato

August 22, 2006

Last Sunday I was at a bbq.  A friend and I were chatting about “negroni“.  I mentioned to him that I often drink it with some brut champagne.  He said that I was doing something close to a “negroni sbagliato”.  I actually never heard of it and he explained to me that is just a negroni which has champagne instead of the gin.

I went back home and gave it a shot.  It is pretty good and definitely easier than the original version.

Negroni:

  • 1/3 Campari
  • 1/3 Gin
  • 1/3 red vermouth (I use Martini & Rossi)

Negroni “sbagliato”:

  • 1/3 Campari
  • 1/3 Champagne Brut
  • 1/3 red vermouth

Random Factoid:  Campari has been the world’s higher selling bitter for 70 years! wow!

Recently I had the opportunity to dine at couple of Italian restaurants in Seattle.  My stand on Italian restaurants has been generally along the line “I am paying too much for below quality food”.   Lately I have been a little more relaxed and I am trying to checkout some of the local restaurant to really assess where they are at.

A positive note came from Volterra.   The restaurant serves a more contemporary Italian food.  The menu has a good selection without going crazy with the number of dishes.  The appetizer (marinated calamari) was on the overpriced side and not too good (too much citrus…could not taste the calamari).  The pasta was much better, although the quality was not consistent among the 4 pastas we ordered (there 4 four of us and I ordered wild boar):

  • Linguine with clams sauce (Linguine alle Vongole):  This was just OK.  This is not a difficult dish to make and with good ingredients usually a sure hit.  I found it a little plain with the pasta just a bit undercooked.  I would not reccomend it.
  • Fettucine with Shrimp and Pesto (Fettucine alla Genovese):  The sauce was good.  The fettucine were definitely undercooked.  I mean you could taste the flour in the middle.
  • Wild Mushrooms and Truffles (Tagliolini Tartufati):  This was a fantastic dish and the best of the entire dinner.  I would highly reccomend this one.

I did not order pasta and went for the wild boar.  It’s something I don’t get to eat too often and I just love it.  The dish called for a gorgonzola sauce.  Unfortunately I am not a gorgonzola fan.  I asked if I could have a different sauce and the chef accomodated my request and I was able to get it with the wine sauce that they use for the medallions.   The sauce was on the stronger side for the wild boar, but it was pretty good overall.

Overall it was a positive experience.  The price was on the higher end (I think we paid about 40USD each, but we also ordered couple of bottles of wine), the service was standard good and the food good (could be very good with a little more attention…maybe that night they were rushing it a bit).

Note:  at the time of this post the appetizer is actually off the menu.

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Ready to serve!
Linguini with broccoli and anchovies. I had not cooked this dish for at least two years. The first time I had it was when I was leaving in Lisbon. My friend Michele (from Bolzano) thought me how to make it.

I do agree that this may not be ideal for all taste buds and the reaction for many may be “ugh”. I guess you gonna have to try it and see if you like it… I do!

As many of the recipe I have been posting lately the great thing about this dish is that it takes very little work and it’s done in about 20-30 mins (end-to-end…you can do other thngs in the meatime).

Anyway, let’s get down to business. Here’re the ingredients (for 2-3 people, depending on how hungry their are):

  • 1 box of anchovies
  • 1/2 pound of Linguine (De Cecco, Del Verde or Barilla will do it)
  • Couple of cloves of garlic
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 pound of broccoli (I used frozen ones)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin)

The steps:

  1. Bring water to boil in a pot.  This is the same pot you’ll use to cook the pasta as well.  Before you forget you should also add salt to the water.
  2. When the water is boiling pour the broccoli.  You need to cook them for about 5 minutes, after the water starts boiling again.
  3. Once the 5 mins are up and the broccoli cooked, take them out and save them in a bowl.  If the broccoli are very big, you can just cut them quickly using a knife.
  4. The water is already boiling and you can put the pasta in.  No worries on the “soffritto” for the pasta, it will just take a few mins.
  5. As the pasta is cooklng we start preparing the anchovies\garlic soffritto.  Warm up a deep sauce pan, add the olive oil and the fine chopped garlic.  Let the garlic cook for a minute or so, until it start looking “gold”.
  6. Add the anchovies and make sure that you stir it so that it almost create a “paste” (see pix below). Keep the heat medium\low.  This is a good time to add a few chilli flakes.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in the sauce pan.  This is also the time to add back the broccoli as well.
  8. Stir everything well together for a minute over medium heat.
  9. You are done..just need to plate it and add some pepper and fresh virgin olive oil.

Enjoy your dish and let us know how it goes!

anchovies and garlic  all starts coming together