Cooking Italy: Pasta al’Amatriciana~

11 11 2009

Someday, a finished product photo will start this post.  For now, suffice it to say, the anticipation was too great, we couldn’t help ourselves, we were overcome with food-lust…I can’t believe…we ate it before I could take a picture.   So, when the picture comes, and it will, it will be from a subsequent cooking.  Here’s what happened…

CI-amtriciana-prep

I work outside the home as an Admin. secretary for an elementary school.  I come home pretty much spent at the end of a workday.  This recipe made me smile. A lot. There wasn’t a huge amount of prep, or long cooking this time. This is one of those sauces that comes together so fast there’s no need to buy a jar of sauce.  What have we got here…olive oil, tomatoes, red peppers (these are sweet peppers, so I added red pepper flakes to the tomatoes to rehydrate a little), onion and pancetta.  I slapped my hands 3 times to keep from adding the garlic I so wanted to! I made myself behave! LOL!

CI-amtriciana-simmer

Then the sauce needs to simmer for 25 minutes.  While that’s going on, grate your fresh parmesan and romano for the sauce, and get your water boiling for the bucatini if you can find it…penne if you can’t…we used spaghettini, which isn’t necessarily recommended, but it was handy.  After smelling this wonderful sauce simmering for 25 minutes, I was ready to eat the walls.   I’m learning to set aside a couple tablespoons of the pasta water before I drain my pasta…just in case or because it’s required in the final stage.  A quick drain, add the pasta to the sauce, toss, add the cheese, toss, add a little pasta water if needed to help it toss smoothly, toss, and plate.  Add a little more cheese for the plate and you’re on…

Tasting Notes~
I finally have a way to get authentic Italian feedback on my recipe trials! One of our administrators is old family Italian, and has agreed to taste and critique for me.  When I manage to get food to him, I’ll share Dr. Tony’s feedback!  This dish brought forth this comment, “Wow!  Excellent!  Pasta was cooked perfectly, sauce was simple and simply tasty w/o being too rich.” I’ll take it! LOL!  Our only problem with this recipe was that we wanted more sauce with the pasta than the recipe recommends.   Is that the American tendency to excess, or a desire for more of a good thing?  We both enjoyed the dish a lot more with an extra spoonful or two of the sauce.  Another consideration maybe that these are “primi” sized servings rather than “secondi” servings.  We loved this, and as soon as I can get my hands on another nice piece of pancetta, we’ll be eating it again!

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One response

12 11 2009
Maria Paray

Yes, made me smile a LOT too 🙂 How was it with the red pepper? I added only the dried flakes, not knowing any better. Good musings about the “excess” – I would have liked a bit more sauce, too.

Great post, I’m always learning something from you – thanks!

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