Jon & Vinny’s may have two L.A. locations—the original on Fairfax and the newish outpost on San Vicente in Brentwood—but just try getting a weekend rez when you’re craving some of their pizza or pasta. Which is pretty much always.
In the event that you can’t get a table—or, hell, just don’t feel like leaving the house—you can now make the duo’s spicy fusilli at home. The recipe comes courtesy of the new cookbook Eat. Cook. L.A.: Recipes From the City of Angels. It consists of a hundred recipes from the city’s restaurants, juice bars, coffee shops, cocktail lounges, and other local gems. Author Aleksandra Crapanzano is a screenwriter and food writer who’s won the MFK Fisher Award for distinguished writing from the James Beard Foundation.
The book also has gems like Gjelina’s green harissa, Cassia’s Kaffir lime pudding, and Sqirl’s tomato salad with crispy potatoes and whipped feta. It’s divided into Breakfast Anytime of Day, Light Fare, Night Fare, Sauces, Frozen Treats, Sweets and Cocktails—if you’re in sudden need of a Cranberry Beret from Rustic Canyon. You’ll find a lot of your fave dishes from chefs like Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin, and restaurants Hatchett Hall, AOC, Gjelina, Redbird, Gwen, Republique, Botanica, Croft Alley, Simone, Bestia, and the Hungry Cat.
The book is out on April 23; in the meantime, you might as well get cooking.
JON & VINNY’S SPICY FUSILLI (serves 4)
VODKA TOMATO SAUCE:
½ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 (4 1/2 ounce) tubes tomato paste
¼ cup vodka
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 pound fusilli or another short pasta shape
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 ½ cups Vodka Tomato Sauce (see above)
Salt and pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
16 basil leaves, torn up a bit
Grated Parmesan, to pass at the table
To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and sweat. Add the tomato paste, stir to combine, and a cook for a few minutes; it will turn a rusty color. Add the vodka and carefully ignit it with a match to flambe’ it. Do not blow the flame out; it will die off once the alcohol has evaporated. Add the cream and cook, whisking to combine, for 3 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes and season with salt. Keep about 2 ½ cups in the skillet and reserve the rest for another time.
To make the fusilli, bring a large post of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, add half the butter and cream to the tomato sauce. Taste and add more cream and butter until it tastes as rich as you want it. Stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss over medium heat. Slowly stream in a few spoonfuls of the cooking water to emulsify the sauce, if needed. Stir in the basil. Check the seasonings. Serve in warmed shallow bowls and pass the Parmesan at the table.
(There’s enough sauce here to freeze half and use half.)
Reprinted with permission from Eat. Cook. L.A. by Aleksandra Crapanzano, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.
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