When you’ve got The Chef Show on your mind

It snowed quite a bit here in NYC this weekend, so while my hubs was hard at work shoveling out the car, I enjoyed a few episodes of The Chef Show which I had started awhile ago due to my obsession with the movie Chef, but never watched more than the first episode.

I’m not sure what made me decide to pick it up again yesterday but I did, and I found myself basically drooling through each episode and wishing so badly I could reach into the TV and eat everything they were making and/or featuring.

I’m not a “real chef” though (and don’t forget I’m super lazy and only make things that seem easy enough) so most of the things they showed I could only long after – not make for myself.

It wasn’t until I got to Episode 3 where they make Scarlett’s Pasta that I thought (besides OMG I NEED THAT NOW) “Hey – I think I could actually make that!” And funnily enough I only realized now as I’m writing this blog post that there’s an actual recipe link out there! But I didn’t need one as all I needed to do was watch Roy and Jon make that goodness and devour it immediately after. And I knew I was going to make this for dinner the day after (today) because I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it until I did.

I already had most of what I needed anyway: olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper, lemon, butter (everything mentioned so far I pretty much ALWAYS have) and spaghetti (I like Rummo Spaghetti No. 3). The only thing I needed to buy today was fresh parsley (got it from Trader Joe’s and used the entire bag) and shredded Parmesan (lately I’ve been too lazy to grate it myself).

But what I also knew about dinner today was that I wasn’t going to have just the pasta alone (hopefully this isn’t sacrilege to the show I revere so much). No, I wanted breaded chicken cutlet and broccoli rabe with this – this was the vision I had in my mind when watching the episode yesterday of what I wanted for dinner today!

The chicken was the worst part of this meal but I will blame that on still learning how to cook with my new All-Clad pan properly when I’ve been so used to always cooking with nonstick. I definitely didn’t use enough oil and the result was the breadcrumbs and Parmesan coating falling off the chicken in the pan – not ideal and I will do better next time! (You can see the naked spots on the chicken in the photo.)

But the pasta was everything I dreamed it to be.

I messed up on the timing – I started to cook up the dressing? Sauce? I’m not sure what the proper term here is – before the water for the pasta was even boiling – yes I was that overly eager. The garlic in the oil with the chili flakes and vibrant parsley was so beautiful and aromatic just like in the show!

So I ended up needing to turn off the flame completely and wait for the pasta to finish cooking (I did ladle out some of the pasta water as the show suggests) before I reignited the flame again and eventually threw in the pasta.

Finally the moment I was waiting for: the mixing. The twirling. The beauty of it all together! My hubs was helping so he threw in some butter, squeezed out half a lemon, and we poured in a bit of the pasta water.

It was perfection. And it tasted like heaven.

I actually was suffering from a moment of anxiety (about something personal and unrelated) until I sat down to eat. The flavor of this pasta melted all those thoughts away into pure eye closing joy and total Sabbath calm (it is Sunday night after all).

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