pasta all'amatriciana

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do you ever get into those situations that before you know it you're elbow deep in chores and responsibilities?

All the time.

It started Friday night with a casual mention of possibility of having an impromptu Easter dinner with the family, by the husband. Next thing I knew, I was hosting a party for 14.

Wait, what?

How did a nice party of 8 (including the perpetrator and I) go to a very large party of 14? Does he remember we only live in 850 sq ft? Not including the square footage covered in cats?

Fourteen people is sadly only 1/4 of the family we have. Both being from divorced families and the husbands vast number of siblings, it's not hard to achieve.

So, here I am, planning for a "small" Easter dinner for 14. I made my menu last night, which meant no long involved process for dinner and since I haven't been shopping yet, the fridge is looking a eensty bit bare.

Cupboard raiders pasta aka pasta all'amartriciana will do quite well for dinner.

Rich, yet not oily or heavy. Nice sweetness from the onions, smokiness from the bacon and just the faintess bit of garlic. I served this with a bibb lettuce salad and a large glass of wine, it's needed knowing my tasks for the week.

Pasta all'Amatriciana
[ adapted from Serious eats ]

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small cross-wise pieces
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 pound pasta, I used farfalle
1 large handful basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salt & pepper to taste
grated Romano cheese for topping

Over medium heat, cook together bacon, onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high heat and continue cooking until onions are soft and begin to brown and bacon is cooked and golden brown. Add tomatoes, with their juice and break them up using the back of wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until juices have been reduced by half, about 20-25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of  salted water to boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, and drain. Add pasta to tomato sauce, adding pasta water if needed, toss well. Serve pasta topped with basil ribbons and grated Romano cheese.