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Gigi Hadid-Inspired Spicy Vodka Pasta

By KSHAMAYA DANIEL
Last updated on: December 06, 2021 15:11 IST
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The yummilicious vodka-spiked, tomatoey conchiglie or shell pasta entree by the camera-ready model Gigi Hadid has taken the Internet by storm.

Everyone has been showcasing on TikTok/YouTube, for a while now, their version of the pasta -- there's even an Instagram handle @gigihadidspicypasta!

This is Kshamaya Daniel's easy and special Indian take on this popular recipe.

 

Photograph: Kind courtesy Kshamaya Daniel

Gigi Hadid-Inspired Spicy Vodka Pasta

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 250 gm uncooked penne (tubes) or fusilli (spirals) or a similar small pasta (Gigi used shell pasta or conchiglie)
  • 5 cups water for boiling the pasta (after pasta is cooked and drained, reserve 1-2 cups of the pasta water)
  • 2 tsp salt for cooking the pasta
  • 6-10 pods garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½-1 cup tomato paste, opt to grind fresh as per method below, or use less-tasty canned tomatoes
  • 1 green chilly, chopped fine
  • ½ cup vodka, optional, alternatively substitute with a dry white wine/sweet white wine or a full-bodied red wine, also optional
  • ½ to 1 cup heavy fresh cream or long-life Amul Fresh Cream
  • 200 gm butter or 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the seasoning

  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder or to taste
  • Red chilly flakes to taste

For the garnish 

  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped, optional
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  • Bring the 5 cups of water to boil over high heat in a large saucepan.
    Add the salt and the pasta.
    Cook the pasta -- use a timer so it does not overcook -- for 2-3 minutes less than the packet instructions -- 2-3 minutes less than al dente.
    Packet instructions usually recommend the al dente timing. Al dente means 'to the tooth' or pasta that has a bite to it ie not too soft.
    Well-made pasta always has a bite to it. The pasta, since you are taking it off early, will be slightly raw -- it will continue to cook in the tomato sauce later.
    Drain the pasta in a colander or strainer and return to the saucepan and add 50 gm of the butter or 2 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil, so it doesn't become dry and sticky.
    Reserve 1-2 cups of the starchy pasta water.
  • While the water for the pasta is boiling, start making the tomato sauce, so the semi-cooked buttered pasta can, ideally, go straight into the sauce.
    To make homemade tomato 'paste' simply grind 5-6 medium-sized firm, good-looking tomatoes in a mixer without water, till there are no more chunks.
    If the tomato paste becomes too watery, strain using a fine sieve and use the thicker part left in the sieve with a small amount of the water that got strained out.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the minced garlic in the remaining 50 gm butter or the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
    Let it sizzle for a minute, then add the onion.
    Once the onions have turned colourless and soft, add the tomato paste and the green chillies.
    If using vodka or white/red wine, add now.
    Stir and simmer 4-5 minutes till it has evaporated a little.
    Next, add the cream.
    Depending on the quality of the cream, add anywhere between ½ cup to 1 cup of the cream to get a nice, orange-ish creamy consistency.
    Season the sauce with chilly flakes, salt, and pepper to taste (Gigi used 1 tsp chilly flakes).
    Add the hot pasta to the sauce.
    Add ½ a cup of pasta water to start with and maybe increase.
    Once the pasta is coated in the sauce, adjust seasonings, cream and butter as per taste.
    If the pasta becomes dry, add more pasta water.
    If the pasta is too watery, keep on medium heat till the water reduces some.
    Serve the pasta hot, garnished with the parsley, basil, and grated Parmesan cheese and a side of toasted bread.
    Gigi added Parmesan to the sauce and also on top of the pasta.

Note: The addition of lightly-steamed vegetables might be a further, slightly healthy improvement to this recipe. Opt to add, at the end, ½ a green zucchini, sliced, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into four pieces and then sliced and steamed. Or at the end, 100 gm florets of broccoli steamed.

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KSHAMAYA DANIEL