It’s a simple but brilliant concept: use the Chinese technique for fried rice with Italian pasta sauces. Tommy made fried rice cacio e pepe with pecorino cheese and black pepper, and a version with sausage and rapini. They were delicious.
From the kitchen
Stock Pot or Rice Cooker
The best rice for frying is left over from the day before. As cooked rice cools, the starches undergo a physical change called retrogradation that makes the rice more firm and less sticky. If you don’t have leftovers already, cook some Koda Farms Kokuho Rose rice the day before you make the fried rice. You want about 3 cups of cooked rice.
For the puttanesca, chop a few cloves of garlic and a several anchovy filets and cook them gently in olive oil; don’t let the garlic get brown, just soft.
Squeeze the pits from about a half cup of oil-cured olives and chop coarsely.
Soak a couple of tablespoons of Pantellerian salt-packed capers in cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain. Add them to the garlic and anchovies.
Add a small can of tomatoes (or slow-roasted fresh tomatoes - cut in half, drizzle with olive oil, and cook at 250F for a few hours, cool and slip off the skins). Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, then set aside.
Let the leftover rice come to room temperature and break up any clumps. Use enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet, get it hot enough to shimmer, and add the rice. Stir fry for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan as needed, until all the grains are coated with oil and starting to brown slightly.
Stir in the puttanesca sauce, which will be salty from the olives and capers, and taste the rice, adding more salt if needed. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley; serve with Burlap and Barrel silk chili for a little extra heat.
A handful of pantry staples and a head of romesco broccoli make this Sicilian-style salad (and the same recipe works really well with cauliflower).