Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yes, more pasta!

Yesterday for lunch, I made an old favorite: pasta with amatriciana sauce. I first had this dish at my favorite spot for Upper East Side Italian, Paola's, which is right around the corner from my apartment - literally - I don't even have to cross the street to get there.

Traditionally, amatriciana is a sauce served with bucatini, a kind of thick, hollow spaghetti. The sauce is made with guanciale (cured pork jowl), plum tomatoes, red onion, and lots and lots of crushed red pepper. I make it with Schaller and Weber bacon, and, yesterday, with some oddly-shaped short pasta I found at Williams-Sonoma.

The sauce takes less time to make than you'll spend getting your water to boil and your pasta to cook, so next time you have 15 minutes on hand, why not give it a go?

Bucatini all'Amatriciana alla Queenie
Serves 1

1/4 pound bucatini or spaghetti
Kosher salt
1/8 c. slab bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 small plum tomatoes, chopped
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to taste

Set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, add salt and the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and had given off most of its fat. Drain all but one teaspoon of the bacon fat from the pan and return it to the heat.

Add the olive oil, red onion and garlic, and cook over medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Add crushed red pepper to taste - the dish should be spicy.

As the pasta cooks, spoon a little of the cooking water into the sauce, which should be kept at a simmer. The sauce will thicken (thanks to the starch in the water). When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it (do not rinse) and add immediately to the skillet. Toss the sauce and pasta together for a minute or so over the heat, then remove from the heat and add the cheese, stirring to combine.

Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

That looks scrum-diddily-umptious, but can it really be as easy as you say? This novice will give it a try and report back.

Anonymous said...

All hail the Queenie! The recipe was tried and tested and the crowd cheered. More interesting than your standard pasta, but still quick and easy. Thanks for the tip. Is this your recipe? Do you have a cookbook? You should publish a collection of quick and easy but fun and tasty recipes. I know I'd buy one.

Meg Blocker said...

Yes, it's my recipe - glad you enjoyed!

Erin said...

Yum--I'm definitely adding this recipe to this week's menu at home.

Congrats on this blog and the current one on eG; I loved reading about your tart au poivre success, there! :-)

Cheers from Prague!

Meg Blocker said...

Thanks, Erin! I hope things are well over there...I was just recommending it as a honeymoon destination for the little bro.

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