Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pasta Amatriciana

This is a really easy dish to prepare and super duper healthful and deeeelicious. Lots of veggies and just a teeny tiny bit of bacon. You could of course substitute turkey bacon or veggie bacon (or if you are vegan, just eliminate the cheese and add a few dashes of liquid smoke to add the smokey flavor) - You will love it!

1 package of pasta (I used Dreamfields which is 13.25 oz because I had a $1 off coupon)

3 slices of thick sliced bacon (or pancetta) - diced finely

1/2 cup sweet onion

5 cloves garlic

about 1/2 of a roasted red pepper - I make my own:

1 can of diced tomatoes (I get them in bulk at Sam's Club)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1-2 tsp salt

1/2 cup of grated Parmagianno Regianno or Grana Padano Cheese

Get a large pot of water on to boil and add about 1 tbsp salt to the water (to season the pasta while it cooks).   In the mean time, dice your bacon and get it in a deep, hot skillet to crisp up.

While that is cooking, get out your handy dandy food processor and add the onion, garlic, roasted peppers and diced tomatoes. Puree until it's pretty smooth. Also, grate the cheese now.

By the time that is done, your bacon should be crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towels.

Now there should be a little grease left in the pan, if there is more than a tbsp or so, drain a bit off. Now add the sauce puree.

Then add the red pepper flakes and salt.

Let that simmer for about 10 minutes. Your water should be boiling now, so add the pasta. Traditionally, this sauce is used with a long pasta, but I had penne on hand, so I just used that. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should be done. 

When the pasta is al dente (cooked, but firm) add it to the sauce and keep simmering. Add in the cheese and bacon.

Combine well and simmer for a few more minutes to finish cooking the pasta and to let the flavors meld a bit.

Dinner is served! This is smokey, sweet, salty and downright yummy. Top with a little extra grated cheese and you have yourself a meal that would probably cost about $13/plate at a restaurant. This entire batch of pasta cost about $6 max to make. Quite a value!

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