September 8, 2010

Pasta Amatriciana

Pancetta is an Italian bacon, but it seems to be less salty than bacon. I made this dish with pancetta and thought the flavor was subtle. So if using bacon, consider using less than called for and definitely taste it before adding extra salt.

I used yellow and red cherry/pear tomatoes and a hot pepper from my CSA in this dish. This is a good variation on the Angel Hair Tomato Basil Toss I posted before. Both are fairly simple dishes but so good, especially eaten piping hot.

Pasta Amatriciana
from Italian Food Forever

1 small sweet onion, peeled & chopped
4 ounces diced pancetta (or bacon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely sliced
1 fresh red hot chili pepper, finely minced
1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped
3/4 pound short dried pasta such as penne
salt & pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

To serve:
grated pecorino cheese

Place a large pot of salted water on to boil. While waiting on the water, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the onions, pancetta and chili pepper and cook over medium low heat until the onions are soft and the pancetta is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, half the parsley, and some black pepper and cook for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Keep warm over low heat. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is al dente. Retain a small cup of pasta water and add a tablespoon or two to the sauce if it seems to thick. Drain the pasta and toss it together with the sauce. Serve immediately offering grated pecorino cheese at the table.