From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This hearty pasta comes from Lidia Bastianich whose unlikely history is the "stuff dreams are made on." Beating incredible odds, this Yugoslavian refugee become a respected restaurateur, chef and cooking instructor; her specialty - Italian food. Her programs air on PBS and, while she's not an entertainer, Lidia is a teacher and she sure can cook. Some of her recipes are outstanding. The lure of Capellini Capricciosi begins with a siren's song - the aroma of bacon. Onions are added to the pan and as they begin to caramelize the chorus swells. Just before the coda, hot pickled peppers (pepperoncini), Italian tomatoes and copious quantities of Parmigiano Reggiano are folded into the mix. A final toss with steaming capellini and a ready fork brings us very close to the one perfect bite of our quest. This is a 40 minute wonder! If you haven't tried this pasta you are missing a real palate pleaser. Here is how it's made.
Capellini Capricciosi...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Lidia Bastianich
1/4 cup olive oil, divided use
6 slices smoky thick cut bacon, chopped
2 onions, thinly sliced
10 pepperoncini, drained, seeded and chopped
1 (35-oz.) can whole, peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt + salt to taste
12 ounces dried angel hair pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until brown, about 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Add pepperoncini, tomatoes and salt and cook for 10 minutes longer.
2) While sauce simmers, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, per package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water for sauce. Toss pasta with reserved 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir into sauce with cheese and 1/3 cup parsley. If pasta appears dry, add some reserved cooking water. Toss well to combine. Transfer to warm serving bowl. Garnish with reserved 2 tablespoons parsley. Yield: 4 servings.
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