Blogger unhelpfully ate this post, with the comments too. Thankfully, I had a cache of it, so here it is again.
pasta, Penne Amatriciana, which has such deep flavours, that even though I've made it countless times, I always go "oh god" everytime I take my first mouthful. It's the incredibly simple ingredients that make it, red onion with pancetta being a winner, plus some red wine, rosemary and chilli.pancetta
- 200g penne pasta
- Half a pack of pancetta from a supermarket (100g), or lardons or even a few rashers of smoked bacon chopped
- 1 large red onion or 1.5 small ones (peeled and chopped)
- One tin of chopped or plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp (ish) of dried chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary
- A handful of grated Parmesan cheese (or two handfuls if you like it extra cheesy-creamy)
- A good few glugs of red wine
Note - I understand completely if you don't feel like buying a bottle of wine just to make a meal, but honestly, the difference it makes, plus having some wine to drink while eating this makes it outstanding for a simple plate of pasta. However, I've made this several times without and it's still wonderful.
Heat up a pan on a fairly high heat, and chuck in your pancetta dry. The fattiness of the meat, as it melts, will mean that there's more than enough oil in your pan to cook your onions later. Cook it for a while and don't be impatient, this is as crisp as the pancetta will get, so you may as well let it get quite well cooked. What you're looking for is the golden edging appearing around the outside of the chunks.
Once that's done, turn down your heat to medium and add the onions. Keep an eye on them at first, see if they're looking like they might burn, adjust the heat accordingly and then stir every now and then over the next few minutes until wonderfully soft and approaching translucent.
Add rosemary - quite a lot, maybe double the amount of chilli that you used. The pungent rosemary is one of the main flavours in this, so don't be afraid to add a lot. Then stir. Now, bring the sauce up to boiling point, then turn down and let thicken. The thickening is really crucial, it's the sticky oily goodness that makes this sauce which you can't appreciate if the tomatoes are still watery and runny.
I put my pasta on at this point, in well salted water, and let boil. You can grate your Parmesan now if you like. When the sauce has thickened enough, add the parmsean, then mix through with the pasta. Serve with some red wine, and if you're feeling like being fancy you can garnish with some parsley or basil.
|As you can see it goes down a treat. The wine bottles in the background have candles in them - promise!|