Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cooking with My Rat

Spaghetti con salsa di filletto di pomodoro

The sauce is made with half-cooked and half-raw tomatoes. The basil is not cooked either, just tossed in with the linguine (tongues) of tomato fillets at the end, and warmed up a bit.

At this moment I would like to say something snide about a certain species of cook who likes to insist that anyone can cook great food very quickly. But since today is the Lord's day for some of them, I'll eschew the snark and simply say that even with the help of Remy -who is perhaps the greatest chef in the western world- this dinner took 90 minutes to prepare. Of course this does not include the time it took to make the bread and grow the tomatoes and basil etc.


The Foodist said...

lol cute.

I hate rush job tomato sauces.. its like a sin to me. My mother makes a all day red sauce that, in my humble opinion, is to die for.

Tomato sauce is one of those things, very much like chili, that only gets better as you slowly cook it.

btw did you bake that bread yourself?

Tags said...

Anyone CAN cook great food quickly - as long as they don't count on it STAYing great.

Bob del Grosso said...

Yeah I made the bread Foodist. I hate store bought bread unless it's slow bread -which is very hard to find here in the sticks.

BTW, that loaf there was made in stages over 3 days without any added yeast.

Day 1: a biga of rye and graham flour

Day 2: 25% of the final amount hi-gluten flour is added plus flax seeds, wheat "berries" and bulghar wheat and a few oz of water

Day 3: 75% of the hi-gluten flour, water + salt; kneaded, fermented for 8 hours; shaped, proofed and baked

That's real fast food in geologic time. BAM!

The bread is nice and sour, and I think about as good as bread can be without loading it up with psychoactive drugs or a winning Powerball ticket.

The Foodist said...

when you say no added yeast you mean other then the original starter dough amount?

I agree with home made bread. Im a freak about bread and am so glad to have walked away from Baking and Pastry Fundamentals with some really good basic recipies.

Now all I need is my own place to make bread lol

Bob del Grosso said...


"no added yeast" means no yeast other than what is naturally present in the flour and the surrounding environment.

I could have added some dry yeast or whatever, but it isn't necessary. This dough ferments for so long that the indigenous yeast has plenty of time to reproduce.

I suppose if I was in production environment I'd add some to assure a consistent product, but I ain't so I didn't.

BTW: A lot of bakers say that the natural or wild yeast produces a better flavor. I don't believe this. I think it's the longer fermentation time that does it and regardless of whether or not you add yeast.

Tags said...

Have you ever tried any bread by "Adam last name unknown?"

I'm not sure if anything can taste as good as what I've imagined his bread tastes like, but I've a mind to rot some grapes, peppers and mushrooms and start up a bitch myself.

The Foodist said...

Thats what I figured. Yeah I agree with the no added yeast feeling. We add yeast in the kitchens for production purposes.

We also had the chance to use some of Chef Higgins "5 year old" soudough starter. Def a far better flavor in that.

Tags said...

Found this link on wikipedia for Biga

The Foodist said...


its funny you mention Adam Last Name Unknown. All through bake shop my partner and I kept looking at each other and saying

"Time to feed the bitch"

good stuff

Bob del Grosso said...

It's funny that you refer to bread starter as "bitch." The only other time I heard it referred to it it that way was in Bourdain's book "Kitchen Confidential." If my memory serves me well at all it reminds me of an episode wherein TB writes about his anxiety over having to feed dough made from mushroom gwilf that was made by a guy who was wigged out and not able to take care of it himself. Am I wrong?

The Foodist said...

your right bob thats who were talking about. Adam Lastnameunknown was the guy Bourdain was speaking of...

Whenever I think of starter dough all I can think of his the part in his book where he gets the call..

"Tony, can you feed the bitch please?! please dont let her die. Feed the bitch for me."

Tags said...

And it was Marion Barry that said "The bitch set me up." Who knew he was talking about bread?

Jennie/Tikka said...

Did you also make the pasta??

When tallying up the time ot make something like this, I include the time it took to make and rest the pasta, too.

Bob del Grosso said...


On this occasion I did not make the pasta. I used the Dececco pasta in the photo. It's great stuff and I've been eating it for over 30 years. It is one of the best widely available commercial types of pasta secchi.

Don Luis said...

If I may humbly correct your spelling, it's De Cecco, not Dececco, and I've been eating it for 20+ years.

Would you be happy with Delgrosso? I thought not.

I certainly agree with your conclusion: it's the best out there.