Saturday, October 18, 2008

Capellini Capricciosi

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!

Sent to Presto Pasta Night hosted by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast.

Capellini Capricciosi

1/4 cup olive oil, divided use
6 slices 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.

Food for thought...."food for me was a connecting link to my grandmother, to my childhood, to my past. And what I found out is that for everybody, food is a connector to their roots, to their past in different ways. It gives you security; it gives you a profile of who you are, where you come from." Lidia Bastianich


Peter M said...

Fabulously simple dish and I want that serving platter! I like a gal who likes some heat in her food.

Mary Bergfeld said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Bergfeld said...

Peter, thank you for the compliment. It's a delicious pasta and comes very close to being effortless. The platter was a $10 find that I treasure. As you probably have guessed I love a bargain!

Ruth Daniels said...

What a fabulous looking pasta. So glad you decided to share with Presto Pasta Nights.

Birdie said...

What a great simple dish! I love Angel Hair Pasta.

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness Mary, your little Trick or Treater on the side of your blog is too cute for words! What a doll!

Your pasta has me drooling like a baby over here! Great looking recipe!

Julie Hession said...

Goodness gracious, Mary! That capellini looks like sheer perfection on a plate. I can't let my husband see it, or he will think that he was shortchanged with tonight's dinner! Thanks for sharing.

(Peanut Butter and Julie)

Veronica said...

Looks delicious! How cute is that Halloween picture?!!

Prudy said...

I have several of her cookbooks. This recipe looks wonderful. I'm a big fan of pepperoncini and the bacon would just send it over the edge.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Isn't he beautiful, Jenny? I danced with his Mother when she was the same age to Brown Eyed Girl - on my playlist. He has her beautiful eyes and smile. I'm a lucky lady. I got to see that twice in my lifetime.

Allie said...

I can't pass up on a good pasta dish. Your picture looks wonderful with the pasta on that platter. Great bargin find!

Jaime said...

that looks delicious. i am going to have to try this!

Jaime said...

oh, and your trick or treater is adorable!

Unknown said...

Mary, I just had to tell you... I found this recipe in my old archived folders and decided to make it was FANTASTIC! I love the pepperoncini in really brings something wonderful to the dish! I'll be posting about it next week!

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