Some Like It Hot
With the cold of winter comes the demand for warmer dishes, and few meals are as savory or satisfying as a steaming hot plate of spaghetti. L’Apicio, the recently opened Italian-inspired restaurant from the boys behind downtown favorites dell’anima, L’Artusi and Anfora, has just the recipe. The East Village eatery, whose sleek and modern steel and glass exterior dominates the corner of East 1st Street and Extra Place, is ideal for groups: a mix of banquette and booth seating occupy the spacious, wood-paneled dining room, which is dimly lit and decorated with walls of olive oil and wine glasses. Menu items range from classic to contemporary, with house-made pastas, contorni, meats, fish and larger portions to share. Highlights from Executive Chef Gabe Thompson’s modern Italian bill of fare include roasted chicken with fennel, lemon, olives and potatoes, mezzalune filled with cauliflower, capers and breadcrumbs and, of course, spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce, below for at-home holiday dining.
Spaghetti with Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces dry spaghetti
4 cloves thinly sliced garlic
1 sprig picked oregano leaves
1-tablespoon chili flakes (you can use more or less to your personal taste)
8 ounces crushed tomato
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti to manufacturer’s instructions.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil, the sliced garlic and the oregano leaves. Add a pinch of salt. After the garlic starts to lightly color, add the chili flakes and tomato. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Season to taste with salt after it has cooked for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce, and let the spaghetti cook in the sauce for about a minute. Add the parmesan and the last tablespoon of olive oil. Toss. Divide the pasta into 4 warm pasta bowls.
L’Apicio is located at 13 East 1st Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue.