Feb 3, 2012

IHCC: Some Like it Hot and Spicy

To this day I'm still not sure if my mom was interested in ceramics or if those two hours once a week were an out. An out from the daily mayhem that my brothers and I caused.

Ceramics is top choice when the alternative is sticking your arm down the toilet to retrieve Hot Wheels that have completed the Tidy Bowl 500.

And it's much less stressful to sit in a ceramics class and paint than it is to sit in your living room staring at someone's butt imprint in the wall. The result of a drop kick off an armchair gone further than planned. (Even though certain boys were forbidden from watching and "playing" wrestling.)

I imagine firing a ceramic cat is a lot easier than trying to fill the large, deep hole in the back yard. The hole that was dug down to the water table (not hard to do in New Orleans) so the GI Joes and Glamour Gals could have a nice, but rather muddy, lake to swim in.

Let's not lay blame. Point fingers. (But that last one totally sounds like me.)

So every Tuesday night, dad had a solo stint in the madhouse. And maybe we tested the waters a little to see if dad could be pushed as far as mom. (He could not). But sometimes the chaos followed by panic, or yelling, or kids in the corner, was sincere.

On these Tuesday nights, dad was responsible for meals and baths. Cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes.

One such Tuesday night, dad stood at the sink washing dishes, back turned to his three little monsters. Which was not wise.

A little 5 year old voice asked, "Daddy, can I please have some water? This stuff is kinda hot."

Dad froze. I saw him stop the pot scrubbing and tense up. "What's kinda hot?" As he turned around to face my brother. "Holy crap, stop that!"

My brother sat at the kitchen table sucking--even at that moment--sucking on a bottle of Tabasco.

So, yes, some do like it hot and spicy. Even at an early age.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino from Tessa Kiros's Twelve

This is a simple, quick dish. Just the right kind for nights when you're on your own with monsters. Pasta is quickly tossed in a sauce of olive oil, garlic, and dried peppers. My peppers were not spicy--funny how that happens sometimes--so I added additional red pepper flakes. Add a salad and you have a somewhat instant meal that doesn't require you to turn your back for too long.

There is a similar dish from Giada de Laurentiis with lemon juice and zest (and our addition of kalamata olives) that is one of our all time favorites. Especially in the summer. We like that extra salt/tang/acidity from the lemon and olives, which this recipe lacks. However, we liked the inclusion of garlic in Tessa Kiros's dish.

Linking with I Heart Cooking Clubs
This week's theme: Some Like It Hot...and Spicy

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

Also linking with Cookbook Sundays #9

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Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

(Spaghetti w/ Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili)
from Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros

1 lb spaghetti
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 small, dried red chilies, crumbled {I added red pepper flakes as well since my chilies weren't spicy}
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
handful of chopped parsley
grated Parmesan for the top

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving about 1/2 c of the cooking liquid before draining.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil, chili, and garlic to a large pan. Heat over medium low until the garlic is fragrant and the chilies color the oil.

Add the pasta and parsley to the oil and season with salt. Toss well. Serve topped with Parmesan.


  1. Funny story about your brother. I bet your Dad caught some slack from your Mom about that one :)

    I love a pasta dish like this. Especially for those nights when you don't really feel like cooking or cleaning up a big mess. This is just one of those meals that everyone loves.

  2. Funny post, thanks for the laughs. :o) We LOVE hot and spicy and I'd be adding extra heat too. Sounds easy and delicious!

  3. haha you make me chuckle :) the pasta looks wonderful!

  4. Oh geez, this had me in stitches - I can just imagine the handful you kids must have been - no wonder your mother took to ceramics!

    Love this dish though - this is the kind of thing I love - the sort of thing I can put together in just a few minutes when I get home late in the evening from work.

    Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sundays :-)

    Sue xo

  5. That story about your brother is SO funny. I'm a spice fiend but I don't think even I could drink tabasco. :P

    This pasta sounds great! Simple and spicy.

  6. hahaha.... I am still laughing.
    Thanks for a great start to my day.

  7. Ha! That is a fantastic story...and so true about the escape. I'm sure ceramics were somewhat an enjoyment, but I know those two hours were the true reward ;) This is a great dish...simple, yet totally delicious. Love it. We have a ton of hot sauces lining the pantry (Tabasco being the fave), and my kids (7,9, & 14) like to take them to the table, line them up, and then have a contest to see who can make it through all of them (on the tongue). Believe it or not, they all make it through. Ha! We love the heat ;) Plus, my oldest swears by the shots of Tabasco he takes at least once a day- says they're the reason he's not sick like everyone else around here.

  8. Love this pasta, the ultra simple recipes are my favorites. I make a pasta and pepper with black pepper, so I'm interested to try the red pepper version.

  9. Great, great story about your family! I can relate to the need for Mom's night out: I did that when my kids were little. Helped me to keep my sanity...I think. ;)

  10. I love hot sauce too, my eggs are just a vehicle for hot sauce and pepper.
    Funny story!
    Love the simple pasta, one of my favourites. So comforting.

  11. Funny story! ;-) I like a bit of spice but can't imagine sucking down Tabasco like that. I love simple pasta dishes with lots of flavor like this one.

  12. Ahh I loved reading this post and had a smile the whole time. It sounds so much like my home with my three wild ones. Tidy Bowl 500, too fun! And my youngest, he loves spicy, once we caught him with the Tabasco sauce, he had poured it onto a plate and was dipping and licking his fingers, I asked him what it was, before I realized it was Tabasco, and he said "it's my spicy water" !

    This pasta looks great, will have to try it soon!


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