Thursday, September 8, 2011
Pasta all' Amatriciana
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm breaking the rules a bit tonight. The sauce I'm featuring is usually served over thick strand pasta such as perciatelli or bucatini. Unfortunately, they are not available here, so I usually use spaghetti or linguine in their stead. I was in a rush this evening and didn't realize I had neither of them in my pantry until the Amatriciana sauce was nearly done. I did have cavatelli and, having no other options, decided to use it as a base for the sauce. It worked, though not as well as a strand pasta might. I hasten to add that the sauce saved the day, not the pasta I used. The sauce, which originated in the Italian town of Amatrice, is usually made with tomatoes, pancetta and hot pepper flakes. The pancetta gives the sauce a unique flavor, and while some think Canadian bacon can be used as a substitute, I don't recommend it because I don't think it imparts the same flavor. Amatriciana is an uncomplicated sauce that has wonderful color and is quite simply delicious. The recipe I use was originally developed by Lidia Bastianich and it is a winner. Here's how the sauce is made.
Pasta all' Amatriciana...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Lidia Bastianich
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3 ounces pancetta, cut into 1-1/2 inch julienne strips
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound strand pasta
1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated, plus more for passing
1) Pass tomatoes and their liquid through fine disc of a food mill. Set aside.
2) Bring 6 quarts of salted water to boil in an 8-quart pot.
3) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add pepper flakes and tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to a simmer, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, stir pasta into boiling water and cook, according to package instructions, until done.
5) Reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta, return it to pot in which it cooked. Add half the sauce and bring to a boil, adding enough pasta water to make a sauce to coat the macaroni. Check seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Remove pan from heat, stir in 1 cup grated cheese and transfer to a large, heated serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over top. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if desired. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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Fettucini Carbonara - Our Life in the Kitchen
Lidia's Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes - Ciao Chow Linda
Easy Sunday Lemon Pasta - Joy the Baker