Monday, March 11, 2013

Recipe Update

We don't make this (Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all'Amatriciana) recipe often, but I made it last night.  It's a good standby when we can't think of anything else to make. It's a fast recipe which is nice. I think it would taste really good with shrimp and, one of these days, I'm going to stop saying that and actually make it. 

Here is an update from the original time I made it: the herbs are essential. They add so much flavor. The parsley in the dish as well as the basil over the top. We don't put nearly that much cheese in, but we add to taste after the fact. Little Miss ate this dish this week. She didn't care for the cooked tomatoes, but she liked the rest - and even ate the parsley. She said she liked the taste except for the green things, but then I explained to her that the green things give it taste. I think, though, the pancetta, onion, garlic trio really add the taste though. Three of my favorite things.

Recipe recap:

1 pound regular or thick spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/4 pound chunk pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 pints small cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple generous handfuls)
1 cup basil leaves, torn or chopped
2/3 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (a couple generous handfuls)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, parsley and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes burst, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water and then the pasta, tossing to coat. Turn off the heat, add the basil and cheese and serve.