I realize I promised to have this post up sooner. I suppose that’s what I get for promising things. As luck would have it I am sick. I wasn’t feeling the greatest when I made this dish Wednesday but as I’m the only one in the house who cooks I had to get dinner on the table. (No- I’m not complaining. I truly enjoy my calling and duties. I am merely stating a fact.) By Thursday when I had planned on writing this post, sitting upright at the computer was not on the list of things I felt up to. But today- Saturday- I feel well enough to put fingers to keyboard. So here goes!
Spaghetti Amatriciana. I can’t take credit for coming up with this on my own of course. The original recipe came from The Sopranos Family Cookbook that I bought years ago. It was not until about 3 months ago that I finally decided to try some recipes out of the book and this was the first. It is an AWESOME recipe! I don’t usually go to Italian restaurants- or order Italian in any other restaurant for that matter. It’s always just so darn mediocre so I don’t bother. Homemade Italian on the other hand is almost always a joy to behold. Modest, hearty, and flavorful almost to a fault. But I have always been intimidated by making homemade Italian. I thought there was just too much involved. Not that I’m against tedious, tricky recipes. I’m not- they can be great fun and I love the challenge. But as a SAHM (Stay at home mom for those not in the know) with 3 young kids and 7 people total to feed right now I don’t often get to make recipes that take hours to put together. And that’s the beauty part of this recipe: It goes together incredibly quickly. I want to apologize for the quality of these pictures. All we have right now is our dirt cheap digital camera that we got a few years ago. The pictures are NOT high quality. However this will be rectified by the next post. Our brand new, 10 mega pixel digital camera will be delivered to Best Buy and picked up by us next week. So after this the pictures will be MUCH better!
 First step: Gather your ingredients and start your pasta water heating.
On the cutting board are: garlic, onion, chili pepper flakes, and bacon.
 Step 2: In a large pan (it has to be LARGE because you will be adding the pasta when it’s cooked)over medium heat, render bacon with 1 scant tablespoon of olive oil- DON”T DRAIN IT WHEN IT BROWNS! You’ll need all that bacony goodness to saute the onion and garlic. If you use turkey bacon you will have to use 1 & 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the onions turn a nice golden color and then add your garlic. Don’t add it until now because overdone/burnt garlic is very bitter and will ruin the entire dish. So add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Step 3: Add your UNDRAINED Italian Diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add chili pepper flakes. I only use about 1 teaspoon but we’re spice wimps. Play with the amount until you get it how you like it. And you can always serve more on the side for those who want it spicy.
Step 4: Let simmer about 20 minutes. Remember what I said about tasting often? This is where you start. You will need to add salt to taste.
Step 5: After about 10 minutes of simmering drop your pasta into the boiling water and let cook until it’s done the way you like it. (What?! You’ve never figured out just how done you like your pasta? Well now would be a good time to try it at different stages of doneness & see wouldn’t it?)
Step 6: When pasta is to desired doneness reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine. The sauce should evenly coat the pasta with a little left in the bottom of the pan. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water a little at a time until it’s to the desired consistency.
Step 7: When pasta and sauce are thoroughly combined take off heat. Now you can serve it family style or plate it up individually.
Ingredients:
4 slices bacon, diced small (if you have a problem with real bacon you can use turkey bacon)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
1 scant T. olive oil (1 & 1/2 – 2 if using turkey bacon)
3- 15 oz cans Italian seasoned, diced tomatoes in juice
1 lb. Spaghetti
Salt to taste
Large pot of boiling water to cook pasta
*Gather your ingredients and start your pasta water heating.
*In a large pan (it has to be LARGE because you will be adding the pasta when it’s cooked), render bacon with 1 scant tablespoon of olive oil- DON”T DRAIN IT WHEN IT BROWNS! You’ll need all that bacony goodness to saute the onion and garlic. If you use turkey bacon you will have to use 1 & 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the onions turn a nice golden color and then add your garlic. Don’t add it until this step because overdone/burnt garlic is very bitter and will ruin the entire dish. So add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
*Add your UNDRAINED Italian Diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add chili pepper flakes. I only use about 1 teaspoon but we’re spice wimps. Play with the amount until you get it how you like it. And you can always serve more on the side for those who want it spicy.
*Let simmer about 20 minutes. Remember what I said about tasting often? This is where you start. You will need to salt to taste. After about 10 minutes of simmering drop your pasta into the boiling water and let cook until it’s done the way you like it. (What?! You’ve never figured out just how done you like your pasta? Well now would be a good time to try it at different stages of doneness & see wouldn’t it?)
*When pasta is to desired doneness reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce and toss to combine. The sauce should evenly coat the pasta with a little left in the bottom of the pan. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water a little at a time until it’s to the desired consistency.
*When pasta and sauce are thoroughly combined take off heat. Now you can serve it family style or plate it up individually.
Yes, these are the same directions I gave in the step-by-step. Hey- they were good directions and it seemed the easiest for those who may want to copy & paste. If any of you would like to see it done differently, let me know & we’ll “talk” about it!
One of the wonderful things about this dish is it’s versatility. Don’t eat pork? Use turkey bacon. Don’t like a lot of garlic or onion? Scale it back a bit. Don’t have spaghetti on hand? Use what you’ve got. The original called for buccatini. I looked in every store that’s close to me the 1st time I made this and couldn’t find it. Now I use whatever pasta I’m in the mood for. So go on- get in the kitchen & play!
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