VIETNAMESE-STYLE CAPELLINI WITH GRILLED STEAK (for two)
6 ounces capellini (angel’s hair pasta), or other thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon anchovy paste
¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves, shredded, or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled, plus 2 mint sprigs for garnish
two ¾ inch thick boneless shell steaks (about 1 pound)
¾ cup fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
½ red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
- In a kettle of boiling salted water boil the capellini until it is just tender (4 to 5 minutes) and drain it in a colander. Rinse the capellini under cold water and drain it well. While the noodles are boiling, in a blender blend the vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, the soy sauce, the garlic, the sugar, the red pepper flakes, the salt and the anchovy paste until the sauce is smooth. In a bowl toss the noodles with the sauce and the shredded mint.
- Heat a well-seasoned ridge grill pan over moderately high heat until it is hot and in it grill the steaks, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until they are springy to the touch, for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively the steaks may be grilled on an oiled rack set 4 to 5 inches over glowing coals for the same amount of time). Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let them stand for 5 minutes. Cut the steaks into thin slices.
- Divide the noodles between 2 plates, mounding them, arrange slices of beef on top and surround the noodles with the bean sprouts and bell pepper. Garnish each serving with a mint sprig.
from Gourmet Magazine, June, 1991