(Radiator Pasta in Angstrom Sauce)
One of the first things I learned when I worked at Lidia’s was that pasta sauce can encompass a whole range of possibilities beyond tomato, alfredo, or cheese. So long as there’s some liquid component to tie everything together, pasta can serve as a vehicle for all kinds of flavors.
This recipe was a huge hit with the whole family, especially Angstrom. It was when he ladled his third helping onto his plate that I realized it was a real winner and probably deserved to be written down. Because his enthusiasm prompted me to write it down, I’ve named it in his honor.
- 1 large onion
- about 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms (I used a mix of maitake and crimini)
- 1 leftover baked sweet potato
- about 2 cups leftover pot roast, with its liquid
- 1/4 leftover roasted cabbage
- chicken stock as needed to adjust consistency
- Salt and pepper
- Make a pot roast dinner, with baked sweet potatoes and roasted cabbage as the side dishes. Save the leftovers at the end of the meal
- Dice an onion and cook it in butter in a #10 cast iron skillet with salt, pepper, and aleppo pepper, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until it has started to take on some golden brown.
- Push the onion to the outside of the pan and add a bit more butter to the well in the center. Add diced mushrooms with a pinch more salt. Cook, stirring occasionally (after initial browning period, they can be stirred in with the onions), for 10-15 minutes or until they have taken on some golden brown.
- Deglaze the pan with some bourbon.
- Add diced or mashed sweet potato, sliced cabbage, pot roast, and chicken stock (about 1 cup) to the pan. Stir together and let simmer while the pasta cooks. Adjust the consistency as needed with more chicken stock and/or some of the salted cooking water from the pasta. (This is a trick I learned from Lidia’s—the starch that cooks out of the pasta helps to thicken the sauce and the water helps to thin it out. I know it sounds weird to go after both ends of the spectrum at once, but it really does work)
- I used radiatori pasta because the grooves in the pasta help to pick up the sauce and the flavor. It would also go well with fusilli or a wide ribbon like papparadelle.