Simple recipe for classic pasta that will rock your world. Full of flavour yet easy to make. You’re going to love this one!
Okay seriously man, look at that cheese raining down over the pasta. This dish made my tummy super happy. It’s a really versatile dish, you can make it easier by using pre-made pasta sauce or you can simmer San Marzano tomatoes down to make your own. It’s a total classic that is full of flavour, yet surprising easy to make. Which works for me. I love easy recipes, it frees up time for me to do other things. Important things. Things like watching Justified, The Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. What? A girl has to put her feet up from time to time.
Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming a dear friend of mine to the blog. I have not done a Burning Down The Kitchen interview in quite some time. Today the series returns and I have the great honour of having me readers get to know DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts (aka Foodie Stuntman) better. You will adore this man as much as I do. DB is a talented cook, but aside from that he is a true friend. He is such a shining example of how food bloggers should be. He’s not only an interesting bloke, but he shows interest in others. He makes time for his friends, and he is incredibly thoughtful. People like that are rare in life. So when you find a friend like this man you have to consider yourself a very lucky person. I am one of those lucky people since I get to call this man my friend. Without further ado I give you Burning Down The Kitchen with Foodie Stuntman of Crazy Foodie Stunts!
Meet DB, the mastermind and genius behind Crazy Foodie Stunts!
1. How did you get started blogging?
They say when you get old, the first thing that goes is the memory. The second thing is…uh…I don’t remember.
It all started after I found a passion for cooking by accident. I started with a few easy recipes that had great results and went from there.
2. What’s your favourite part of it?
Cooking the food with the aromas that emanate from the kitchen.
3. Do you have a least favourite part of it?
The techie part. The fact that I can publish my dishes on a website is a feat by itself, and even funnier when you consider I live in Silicon Valley. Facebook and Google headquarters are about 20 minute drives from my front door.
4. How do you decide which recipes to post?
I like dishes that challenge me. Either a cooking technique I’ve yet to attempt or a combination of ingredients and/or flavors that are uncommon.
5. Where does your inspiration come from?
The fact that I can’t afford culinary school, so I’ve use the internet to learn how to cook.
6. Does your family cook with you?
I guess that depends on how you define with. When my 5-year-old daughter comes into the kitchen every 10 minutes, asking “what can I eat while I’m waiting for dinner?” does that count?
7. Tell us a little about your kitchen.
Well, it definitely is little. We all wish we had more counter space or better equipment that’s beyond the reach of our wallets but I manage.
8. Run us through a typical day in the life of DB, Foodie Stuntman.
First thing I do when I get up is grab a cup of coffee. I can’t function without it. While my daughter’s in school, I’m probably running errands, coming home and on the computer for a while until I’m prepping for dinner.
9. Any foodie disasters you would like to share with us?
Mrs. Stuntman says I over-season my food frequently. In fact, the first time I prepared a Guy Fieri steak dish, I over salted the steaks to the point where they were inedible.
10. What’s your favourite post on your site and why?
I could name my watermelon gazpacho dish because it was featured on Chef Fabio Viviani’s website and magazine, my spinach and ricotta gnocchi because I used my own homemade cheese or the strawberry and red wine dessert because it’s my favorite photo on my website, but I’d have to say that arugula salad that Kim organized because it stands out as the only one I have done, to date, for a charitable cause.
11. Sweet or savoury for snacking?
I generally like savory.
12. Fresh pasta or dried?
When I have the time to prepare it, fresh. In a pinch, dried.
13. Cocktail, beer or coffee to wind down at the end of the day?
None of the above. I watch TV to unwind. I sit and stare at it and watch shows where I don’t have to think too much.
14. Beef, chicken, pork or seafood for your favourite protein?
Probably beef because it’s a novelty in my house. I buy it less frequently than the others because it tends to be expensive.
15. Milk, dark or white chocolate for baking?
Not much of a baker. Baking is so scientific contrasted to cooking where it’s more of an art so I guess it depends on the dessert I’m preparing. From a flavor standpoint, my favorite has always been milk chocolate.
16. If you could cook with anyone, no boundaries, who would it be, and why?
Hmmm…difficult question. Probably Bourdain or Colicchio. They are widely different personalities, but have the same sensible approach to food.
17. If you could have your own cooking show what would you name it?
Advanced Techniques because so many cooking shows focus on the quick and easy which has left a void for those that want more challenging food.
18. Are you a cookbook fanatic, if so which one is your go to guide?
You know, it’s funny because I remember having a conversation with someone where we both agreed that cookbooks are becoming obsolete with so many recipes available online for free. After I had that conversation, I found that my cookbook collection had exponentially grown.
My favorite cookbooks aren’t really cookbooks. I like Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio and The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Chef Colicchio has recipes in his book, but they’re there to apply a cooking technique that he’s discussed prior to the recipe. The other book contains no recipes but is a reference with any ingredient you can think of and what complements it.
19. What advice would you give new bloggers?
Set a goal and define success first, which will provide direction to your blog. Deciding this will determine your actions to reach it.
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a part of the picture?
Well after having won the lottery….HA!
What I hope to achieve is the ability to put together blog-worthy dishes on the fly without having to rely upon recipes.
Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:
Take a photo of your kitchen while you’re cooking, all the better if you’re in the photo.
DB says: Taken by Mrs. Stuntman as I was preparing Spaghetti Aglio e Olio a couple of weeks ago.
Take a photo of your favourite aisle in the grocery store, all the better if you’re in the photo.
DB says: Sprouts Farmers Market is a small supermarket chain that has the majority of their locations west of the Mississippi River. One of their stores is about a 5 minute drive from my apartment in Fremont, California. They can be pricey in some departments, but their produce section is definitely their niche. Produce at that location occupies at least one-third of their sales floor and it’s the one department where their prices aren’t only reasonable; they are the best locally.
Take a photo of the inside of your fridge, without straightening it up, all the better if we see you in the photo.
DB says: You caught me at a great time which is just after I emptied my refrigerator of all our Christmas dinner leftovers. It’s usually not so barren.
I told you that would adore this man. He’s such a cool guy, and he’s wickedly talented in the kitchen. I love how DB pushes himself to do things that are more complicated. I am endlessly impressed by the dishes he takes on.
Some random things you should know about DB:
- He won a rib contest in 2012. How cool is that? I am uber-impressed.
- He has a daughter he loves so much. Every time I see him post about her on facebook it makes heart melt.
- He had previous websites, one with his wife. He’s now flying solo blog wise but talks very sweetly about Mrs. Stuntman on his site.
- He loves to challenge himself and takes on complicated recipes to push his culinary boundaries.
- He is buds with Fabio Viviani, and his Watermelon Gazpacho Shooters recipe was featured on Fabio’s website.
- He is one of the most supportive bloggers I’ve had the pleasure to get to know. He’s also wickedly funny.
I always make over a recipe from the bloggers I interview. My rule of thumb is to make three then pick the one we all liked best. It was a tough call which one of DB’s to pick. His recipes are so spot on it’s hard to say you liked one better than the other. So I picked the one that draws my eye every time I stop by his site, his Bucatini All’Amatriciana. This recipe caught my attention when he first made it. It looked absolutely delicious. We’re huge pasta fans here at the Bee household so I knew I had to make it. I’m so glad I did. This recipe will knock your socks off.
I made a couple of small changes to DB’s recipe. Nothing substantial. I used San Marzano tomatoes. I’d like to say this was a really well thought out game plan but I did it for lazy reasons. My food processor was in my fridge with cheese in it and I didn’t want to clean it. Not even kidding, I hate doing dishes and would rather take an extra hour to cook than tackle dishes. Our blender bit the dust too, so instead of using tomato puree I just simmered down the San Marzano tomatoes until they were tomato sauce-like. I also added some garlic since we’re huge garlic lovers. I used minced, again I’d love to tell you choosing minced was a well thought out intentional choice, but I forgot to buy fresh garlic and was too lazy to go to the store. I used dried parsley, this one was a choice, I’m one of those odd people who prefers dried herbs more often than not. I used Parmesan instead of Pecorino, this was simply a choice of necessity. Parmesan is easier to find here, and the family loves it. So it’s basically the same recipe as DB’s with some minor tweaks for personal (er, lazy) reasons. I hope you love this. Whether you make DB’s version or my version you will absolutely love this recipe. It’s fabulous, and I cannot rave enough about it.
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
- 1/2 pound of pancetta sliced thinly or cubed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 red onion sliced thinly, or chopped finely
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes more or less depending on taste (I used a lot)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of dried parsley more or less depending on taste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 x 28 ounce cans of red san marzano tomatoes
- 4 to 6 tablespoons of tomato paste more or less depending on taste
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- Freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to taste
- 900 gram package of bucatini pasta cooked
Slice your pancetta thinly across the grain, or if you're like me you can just cube it.
Add the olive oil to a large pan, turn on moderately low heat, cook for about 5 or so minutes.
Add the onion to the pan and continue to cool to soften the onion. Depending on heat this will take 10 to 15 minutes. Stir it occasionally to keep it cooking evenly.
Add the red pepper flakes and parsley to the pan. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the red wine vinegar and allow that to simmer until it evaporates. Depending on heat this will take 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the San Marzano tomatoes and minced garlic, bring this to a boil stirring as it cooks. Try to break the tomatoes up as much as possible by sort of squashing them with the back of a wooden spoon. Once it boils you can then reduce it to a simmer. I left mine uncovered and cooked it for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
At this time you want to bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles.
Bring the pan back to a boil and add the tomato paste, reduce to simmer and allow it to cook for about 20 to 30 minutes longer. This will thicken the sauce and give it a beautiful colour and texture.
If desired you can hit it with some salt but with the pancetta you likely don't need to, personal choice.
Salt your boiling water, then add your pasta. Cook for 1 minute less than the package tells you to. I cooked mine for 6 minutes.
If you're using a huge saute pan you can continue using that. If not I would recommend transferring the sauce to a dutch oven so you have enough room to mix the pasta properly.
Bring your sauce to a medium heat, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta water to it. I recommend starting with 1/4 cup, then taste the pasta after adding the cooked pasta.
Drain your cooked pasta and pop that into your sauce. Stir until it all comes together. Add more pasta water if needed. Continue to stir until it is well combined.
Remove from heat and transfer it to a large serving bowl.
Top with cheese.
Serve with a big old pasta loving smile!
I loved this recipe. Like 3 helpings kind of love. What? I worked out today, I deserved some carbs. I love my carbs.
Other recipes of DB’s you’ll love:
- Ravioli di Ricotta con Burro Bruno e Salvia
- Steak Fajitas
- Beer Can Chicken
- Piccata di Pollo
- Watermelon Gazpacho Shooters
Places you can stalk DB:
Thank you to DB for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing him and getting to know him better. You can read more about him on his about me page on his blog. You can peruse his guest post he did for me when I was away in Calgary in 2011. He made Homemade Granola which was amazing, I actually took that recipe for a test drive. He also joined me for a charitable cause when I posted my yearly post dedicated to my Mom. He made an Arugula Salad that will blow your mind. He’s so talented so make sure you hop on over to Crazy Foodie Stunts to follow him. You will not be sorry.
Okay peeps, tune in tomorrow for an amazing recipe I did as a guest post for a friend. I don’t do many guest posts as they stress me right out. So be sure to check that out so all my sweat and tears were worth it.
On Saturday I have an amazing giveaway for all my American friends.
On Sunday I have a giveaway for all my Canadian friends.
Then next week I have a round-up post that is a little different. It’s a collection of sentimental blogger favourites from 2013. It’s taken me some time to put it together as reading some of the posts has been difficult. I asked some of my blogger friends to share links to posts that touched their hearts, not their most popular recipes, but posts that meant the world to them. I can promise you this round-up will change the way you look at bloggers. These people stepped up in a big way. It’s been an honour to work on this post and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Some other things coming up:
- A couple of cookbook giveaways!
- Cocktail Day on January 19, this is not to be missed!
- Appetizer Week from January 20 to 25, this is also not to be missed!
- A Birthday Surprise Guest and a Birthday Giveaway on the 20th!
Whew, that’s a ton going on. No wonder I don’t want to do dishes!
Toodles and smoochies! xx