Before the pandemic shut down restaurants, Matthew Accarrino led San Francisco’s SPQR with a deep affinity for both Italian food and Californian ingredients. He found inspiration from cooking in Europe, but was unafraid to make his version of the cuisine using the bounty of produce he found working directly with Bay Area farmers. The chef, who has worked for the likes of Tom Colicchio and Thomas Keller, has led his restaurant to a Michelin star every year since 2012. Now, he’s created a takeout restaurant inside SPQR called, fittingly, Accarrino’s. He’s turned toward craveable comfort foods that lend themselves well to takeout, like pasta, focaccia pizza, a little more red sauce and even Sunday fried chicken.
An easy Italian comfort food you can make at home is orecchiette with puttanesca sauce. It’s a pasta shape that you can create without any fancy equipment and a delicious sauce you can throw together with pantry staples.
In this episode of Robb Report Culinary School, Accarrino goes over the basics of the dish with culinary editor Jeremy Repanich and also shares how he’s handling the shutdown and what he’d like to do once the Covid-19 crisis passes.
Odds and End and Additional Links
If you live in the Bay Area, you can reserve your Sunday fried chicken feast, Thursday night polenta or other family-style meals by visiting Accarrino’s page on Tock.
The Accarrino’s team creates food each week for Frontline Foods, the charity feeding healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients.
Puttanesca sauce isn’t some centuries-old Italian classic, but a post-WWII creation with a sordid history.
Everyone was talking about the Michael Jordan Last Dance documentary for weeks, but ESPN is back with another 30 for 30 film, this one is on the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. You’ll see why Accarrino, an avid cyclist himself, calls Armstrong a “polarizing figure.”
Head to Robb Report’s Instagram page to check out more episodes of Culinary School, including Top Chef winner Mei Lin’s congee and James Beard Award-winner Chris Shepherd’s recipe for bacon chile jam.