- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When Alfred Portale cooks at home, he can’t rely on a sous chef to chop the vegetables. Like most home cooks, this prize-winning chef doesn’t want to spend his time reducing a stock. He jokes that he’s lucky to get someone to wash the dishes for him.

“My home cooking is a lot simpler. It’s not just the cooking, but the shopping and prepping that can take up a lot of time,” says Mr. Portale, chef of Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City.

Such awareness is obvious in Mr. Portale’s cookbook, “Alfred Portale’s Simple Pleasures” (William Morrow). “You won’t find a single recipe that calls for reducing stock. No one has it at home, and not too many people want to make it. If I couldn’t find an ingredient in a supermarket, it didn’t make it into the book,” he said.

Tagliatelli with shrimp and scallops

1 cup diced canned tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons minced anchovies

2 teaspoons capers

1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon minced garlic

6 large raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned

6 large sea scallops, halved

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley

4 ounces cooked tagliatelli

Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, anchovies, capers, hot red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl. Stir well and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes. Add scallops and saute for 2 more minutes. Stir in white wine and scrape up any browned bits in pan. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Add tomato mixture and cook over low heat for 2 minutes or until hot. Stir in cream, butter, basil and parsley. Serve over tagliatelli. Serves 2.


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