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The Tastiest Pasta I've Ever Eaten

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Dec 30, 2017

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The Tastiest Pasta I've Ever Eaten
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Transcription

  • - Hey everybody.
  • Today, we are talking pasta.
  • - [Alexis] The best.
  • - We are going around Los Angeles
  • to each of our favorite spots
  • for the tastiest pasta dish in all of LA.
  • (big band music)
  • - I really, really love pasta.
  • Who doesn't want a big bowl of pasta
  • when you come home from work, am I right?
  • The tastiest pasta in LA is at Scopa Italian Roots
  • in Venice, and it is the rigatoni a la vodka.
  • Chef Antonia follows the Italian rule,
  • which is to say, less is more.
  • It's really well balanced, you get a little spice,
  • you get this pepperiness from the garlic,
  • you get creaminess from the cheeses.
  • There's whole tomatoes in it
  • to add this really great texture.
  • The rigatoni has these great ridges
  • which collect the sauce, and it makes it the perfect dish.
  • When you first take that bite of rigatoni,
  • the sauce kind of washes over you.
  • It feels like Chef Antonia is giving you a hug.
  • - I'm Antonia Lofaso, I'm the executive chef
  • here at Scopa Italian Roots,
  • and I'm going to make my rigatoni a la vodka.
  • Here, we're gonna start with a little bit of butter,
  • and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  • What the olive oil is going to do is add flavor,
  • but B, it's not going to allow the butter to cook as brown.
  • I don't want it to brown, I kinda want it to melt.
  • Instead of doing a chopped garlic,
  • we do three blanched garlic, so--
  • - [Alexis] Oh, we blanch them?
  • - We blanch the garlic, because then it makes it sweet--
  • - Interesting--
  • - Instead of making it spicy, and garlicky.
  • And then, we're gonna add a little bit of chili.
  • You wanna add chili and garlic to fat only,
  • because you really want to make sure
  • that it blooms, and it doesn't boil.
  • We're gonna add a little bit of the vodka to that.
  • Then I'm gonna add cherry tomatoes.
  • And I want these to break down,
  • but then I do want them a little whole.
  • You're adding more fresh tomato flavor,
  • because you've got a cooked tomato product,
  • and then a fresh tomato product.
  • We're gonna add a little bit of salt,
  • and then we're gonna build our sauce.
  • We're gonna add a little bit of san marzano tomato.
  • We're gonna add some cream.
  • And then we're gonna add just a little bit
  • of chicken stock to thin it out,
  • because we don't want this to be an overly chunky sauce.
  • Then we also want the pasta to cook in there.
  • So let that come together.
  • Then we're trying to push that
  • off to the side, and let it sit.
  • Then we're gonna cook our pasta.
  • - Great.
  • - This pasta, because it's a fresh product,
  • it's gonna take a lot less,
  • but it's gonna be about four, five minutes in the water.
  • I feel like she should be here
  • with a glass of wine, enjoying--
  • - I mean...
  • - So, a little bit of pasta water goes in there--
  • - [Alexis] Okay, so only a few drops.
  • - Only a few drops.
  • I can always get it to come back like that if I need it.
  • Now we're gonna take the Parmesan-regiano.
  • Then, what I was saying before,
  • is just adding some fresh parsley,
  • and then some fresh petite basil to it.
  • And I want to take it off the heat now.
  • I'm gonna let it wilt in there, just like that.
  • It's hot, be careful.
  • Hands down, we won?
  • - We're done.
  • - [Antonia] So, just when you thought it was over--
  • - I feel like I know what's coming
  • and I feel really excited.
  • - (laughs) You do know what's coming.
  • Just a little bit of ricotta, it's gonna go right on top.
  • Again, it's all about the small touches.
  • - Oh, wow.
  • - A little bit of maldon on each piece of the ricotta,
  • and then a little bit of the olive oil.
  • I'm gonna do a little bit of fresh petite basil.
  • There's your pasta.
  • - [Nick] Probably the prettiest thing
  • that's ever been before me.
  • - You're just saying that.
  • You didn't pick me.
  • - But he might now.
  • We're going in. - We gonna do this?
  • - I feel like a lot of the time
  • when I have vodka sauce, the tomato gets really lost
  • in the cream, but this is perfect.
  • You get these pieces of tomato in here.
  • - The whole tomato really
  • builds out the dish. - You don't lose that acidity.
  • It pops really nicely.
  • - There's a lot going on for sure.
  • It all comes together and, like, has a baby in your mouth.
  • - Also the basil adds some freshness.
  • It's really exceptional.
  • - They're nailing that rigatoni, oh boy.
  • - Like (bleep)
  • - I would like some more.
  • Scopa was a beautiful restaurant,
  • and that rigatoni a la vodka was delicious.
  • But it is not the tastiest pasta in Los Angeles.
  • The tastiest pasta in LA is
  • the tortellini in brodo al contrario
  • being served by chef Zach Pollack at Alimento.
  • For those who aren't familiar,
  • there is a Chinese soup dumpling called xiaolongbao.
  • What Chef Zach has done is taken all these flavors
  • of this classic Italian dish, and he has put them
  • into this form of a soup dumpling.
  • The first thing that happens
  • when you bite into the tortellini is there's this rush
  • of hot broth into your mouth that pops out of the pasta.
  • You get these flavors of Parmesan, prosciutto, chicken,
  • butter, it's all there and it all works together.
  • It's not like anything else you've ever had before.
  • - I'm Zach Pollack, and I'm the chef of Alimento
  • in Silver Lake, and today we're making
  • tortellini in brodo al contrario.
  • So we're gonna start by rolling out our egg dough pasta.
  • Got a little, nifty machine here.
  • - [Mike] Is this a fairly traditional pasta,
  • you're not reinventing the wheel here?
  • - We're definitely not reinventing the wheel.
  • It's egg-heavy in the sort of Northern Italian style.
  • There's a combination of whole eggs and yolks.
  • We're gonna knead it through a few times
  • so we get the right texture.
  • Now we got that.
  • Put a little bit of flour on the bottom.
  • We have our filling here--
  • - Okay, so what is in this magical tube?
  • - There is a really rich brodo.
  • It's stock made from chicken feet, chicken bones,
  • beef shank, and prosciutto hocks.
  • - [Mike] Not just chicken stock.
  • - Not just chicken stock, no.
  • Now we fold this over.
  • Seal it on the sides first.
  • Now I'm gonna go seal the top part, but as I do,
  • so I'm not pushing any more air in,
  • I'm gonna put my fingers on the side.
  • Now we're gonna cut it,
  • and now we'll do the same thing on the top.
  • If I align them right, I'll be able to
  • just make one cut through both of them.
  • Now we're gonna shape them.
  • We just wrap them similar to making an actual tortellino,
  • where you might wrap it around a smaller digit.
  • In this case it's a bigger noodle,
  • we wrap it around the thumb.
  • I'm gonna start the butter sauce here.
  • It consists of butter and water.
  • You know, we'll season it with a little salt--
  • - That's all you need.
  • - A little bit of water here.
  • We'll move that off the heat for a second.
  • We'll cook our pasta.
  • Give it a little stir so nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • That'll probably take about two minutes, maybe.
  • - [Mike] And then what do we have here?
  • - Here is our prosciutto and pan sauce.
  • This is dried porcini mushrooms
  • that have cooked down with shallots,
  • some diced prosciutto cotto, Italian ham, basically.
  • We're floating, which is good.
  • - Right into the butter sauce.
  • - Right into the butter sauce.
  • We'll finish them gently in the sauce.
  • Like I said, it's not one
  • of those pastas you want to beat up.
  • Okay, now we'll add our cheese off the heat.
  • You never want to add cheese on heat, it becomes stringy.
  • Put down a little bit of the sauce.
  • It's pretty rich, so not too much.
  • And now, the pasta.
  • - [Mike] You guys hungry yet?
  • - Drooling.
  • - [Zach] And now we'll finish with a little grated Parm.
  • And you gotta eat these while they're hot,
  • so I suggest you all take your seats.
  • - Alright, you guys ready for this?
  • - I mean no, but yeah.
  • - Oh my God.
  • - Oh my God.
  • - Honestly, when it just explodes
  • in your mouth, I don't think I've ever had
  • anything happen to me like that before.
  • - The thing is, don't even have to bite it, it's so tender.
  • It just--
  • - You pop 'em.
  • - Yeah, you can kind of pop it with your tongue--
  • - And then--
  • - And then you get the chew of the pasta.
  • - You get the chew, but then it goes all over your mouth,
  • and it's this salty, savory swath of goodness.
  • - And it's funny, it's deceptive.
  • - I've always loved food that's got a little secret.
  • Does that make sense?
  • - Yeah.
  • - It does.
  • I only wanna eat this pasta for the rest of my life.
  • - [Crew Member] Don't finish it.
  • - What the (bleep), dude?
  • - Yeah, they need to eat now.
  • - Oh is it for you guys?
  • - [Crew Member] Yes.
  • - Oh, sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry.
  • - Try it.
  • Dude, get in here.
  • Darling, the tortellini...
  • Oh my God, I'm still trying to recover.
  • But, we're off to my place now.
  • The tastiest pasta in Los Angeles, California
  • is the spaghetti and meatballs
  • at Little Dom's in Los Feliz, Los Angeles.
  • When you take a bite of this amazing spaghetti and meatballs
  • you have that delicious al dente pasta
  • that's gonna give you that nice bite.
  • And then the simplicity of that amazing tomato sauce.
  • How can I forget about that meat?
  • Made with only beef and pork, the fat from both of those.
  • Oh, it all comes together and makes the most fabulous dish.
  • Hi, I'm Brandon Boudet, the chef and owner
  • of Little Dom's Restaurant,
  • and I'm gonna show you how to make
  • Little Dom's spaghetti and meatballs.
  • We're extruding some fresh pasta, making some spaghetti.
  • All it is is two ingredients.
  • Can you guess?
  • - Flour and eggs.
  • - (mimics buzzer)
  • - [Nick] Or water?
  • - Water, it's semolina flour and water
  • to make a nice hardy, sturdy spaghetti.
  • - [Nick] That's it?
  • - Yup.
  • We use imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes.
  • All we do is rice them,
  • meaning that we put them through our food mill.
  • Here, you wanna try it?
  • - [Nick] Do I just pour it in?
  • - Yeah, just dump it in.
  • We like to do it this way.
  • It doesn't incorporate a bunch of air into it,
  • if you threw it into a food processor or a blender.
  • We take basil, oregano, a little bit of garlic,
  • and we put that in a little sachet,
  • and simmer this all for about three hours.
  • Our meatballs are pretty straightforward.
  • I like a mixture of pork and beef.
  • But the one little trick that we like to put in there
  • is a little porcini powder.
  • Gives it that little earthiness.
  • We just like to do it very simple.
  • Just like this, round it off, one, two, three, ready to go.
  • - [Nick] So about how long do you bake 'em for?
  • - Right around 25 minutes.
  • At a low 275, 325.
  • - [Nick] And then the magic happens.
  • - [Brandon] Yeah, the magic.
  • - [Nick] Damn, nice.
  • - That same meatball mixture we use to make meat sauce.
  • So take a couple spoonfuls, throw it in there,
  • saute up that meat, break it up a little bit.
  • Then all we're gonna do is add that tomato sauce to it.
  • - [Nick] How long does this cook for?
  • - Three hours.
  • The pasta we just made, okay?
  • Going into some hot, boiling water.
  • It's probably only gonna take four, five minutes, max.
  • We're gonna grab some meat sauce.
  • - [Nick] I see some meatballs in there.
  • - Yup.
  • A little bit of butter to it.
  • Check on the pasta.
  • Yeah, it's totally done.
  • - Look at that flip.
  • - [Brandon] The magic, that baby is done,
  • ready to go into the bowl.
  • - This is just what we needed.
  • - It's no (bleep), it's straight up spaghetti and meatballs.
  • - It makes me jealous that I didn't grow up
  • in a big Italian family.
  • - The noodles, too, so perfect.
  • - Perfectly cooked.
  • The sauce, it's really well-balanced.
  • - The sauce, the cheese, the meat.
  • - Its strength is in its simplicity, right?
  • Not to say that there's no subtlety in it.
  • There's a little kick of pepper underneath--
  • - [Nick] Oh yeah
  • - You can feel there's a little bit of heat in that sauce.
  • - Totally.
  • - There's the tiniest hint of the herbs in the meatball,
  • but it's not overwhelming.
  • - Also, the size of the meatballs.
  • Too big, overwhelming, too small, underwhelming.
  • - Perfect medium size.
  • And you wash it down with this delicious Little Dom's wine.
  • - This is the hardest one for me so far.
  • - I don't know what we're gonna do.
  • - [Nick] Me neither.
  • - Little Dom's was so good.
  • - [Alexis] It felt like you were going home.
  • - [Mike] I do think that Scopa
  • sort of hitting similar notes.
  • - [Nick] So creamy.
  • - It was an elevated version
  • of what rigatoni al vodka could be.
  • - I think the tie-breaker for me has to be,
  • not only was that tortellini absolutely delicious
  • and perfectly done, but it's exciting, it's different.
  • So I'm sticking with Alimento.
  • - I mean-- - What are you thinking?
  • - Go to all three of these restaurants, first of all.
  • - Absolutely.
  • - We were floored.
  • - [Nick] We were.
  • - We were floored, I was speechless.
  • - [Together] Alimento?
  • - Yes!
  • - Alimento. Eh, finally.
  • - Shout out to Zach, honey,
  • 'cause whatever you're putting
  • in them damn noodles child, keep doing it.
  • 'Cause you're doing it right.
  • (big band music)

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