Smoked Spaghetti with Charred Tomatoes
Many of Italy’s most innovative chefs are smoking pasta, a technique that adds a rich layer of flavor. Here’s a fabulously simple way to smoked pasta at home, without a smoker or other complicated equipment. You’ll love the technique!
The pasta itself is so full of flavor that you’ll be tempted to eat it by the fistful, even without the sauce. But you’ll love this sauce, which delivers all the flavor of slow oven-roasted tomatoes, but without turning on the oven! The tomatoes are seared in a very hot skillet until charred on the cut-side, then turned over, covered, and left to pan “roast.”
Heat a heavy iron skillet until very hot, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil (it’ll smoke), and put in the tomatoes, cut side down. Cook on very high until the tomatoes are blackened. Turn them over with a spatula, and char them on the skin side. Sprinkle the garlic over the tomatoes, top with 2 tablespoons of oil, remove from the heat, and cover.
Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking put the wood chips in a large high rimmed baking pan, top with a grill rack, and light the wood until they begin to smoke. Drain the pasta and spread the pasta over the grill rack, cover tightly with aluminum foil so the smoke flavor can absorb into the pasta, about 4 minutes.
Gently toss the pasta into the skillet with the tomatoes, season with salt. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs, and grated cheese.