Scarpetta, Home of Scott Conant’s $24 Lady-Killer Spaghetti, Turns Five

conant“Frankly, when I was single, I’d get dates with this dish,” chef Scott Conant once told me about his signature $24 spaghetti. (Read the full article, “Tomato King Scott Conant Resurrects Roman Regime,” in the Observer here.) Conant’s flagship restaurant Scarpetta turns five this week. During our chat, Conant also dished up what Grub Street later described as the “most detailed look yet into the mechanics of Conant’s signature spaghetti.” Herewith, the skinny on Conant’s special sauce, in the chef’s own words:

“Peel and seed tomatoes, cook ’em for 45 minutes, then put an infused olive oil inside it, which that fat content, I think, is really important for the palatability of it, the perfume. The oil consists of an infusion of basil, crushed red pepper and garlic. And that’s it. The idea is, we cook it in a big pot, so then when we heat the sauce up per order, we do it in a sauce pan so there’s a larger surface area, so that it still maintains its freshness. And then we just toss the pasta inside of it, finish it with a little bit of butter and a touch of Parmesan cheese, and then the last thing that goes into the pan is the first flavor, the basil.”

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