Monday, 13 June 2005

Spaghetti Amatriciana

That night my son wanted a pasta dish. He suggested something cooking something else because we were quite tired of spag bol, baked pasta, or pesto. Flicking thru my cookbooks, I spied a familiar title that I have tried several times in restaurants before but have not attempted to replicate. Upon seeing it, I was quite impressed for I remembered this to be a quite tasty one but the ingredients were few and uncomplicated that can be found in any kitchen larder. I've seen most types of pasta used for this ranging from bucatini, rigatoni, penne, to even farfalle. This is quite versatile so, unless you're an Italian pasta purist, use whatever pasta you have. The Food of Italy cookbook provided the recipe that I adapted. It was a fast, tasty and easy dish to make though I had a hitch with the parsley. At the end it should have been stirred in. But I forgot! So as you can see it makes a nice garnish as well. ;)

Spaghetti Amatriciana

1 x 400 g  can of chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp double-concentrated tomato puree (tomato paste)
150 g  chopped pancetta or smoked bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion - chopped
1/8 tsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese
300 g   dried spaghetti
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Fry pancetta in medium heat until brown.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft.
  3. Tip in the garlic and chilli flakes. Stir and cook for about 1 - 2 minutes.
  4. Add in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in parsley in the sauce and cook for another minute. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. While the sauce is simmering, cook spaghetti in boiling water until 'al dente' (about 11-12 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  8. Add cooked spaghetti to the pan and mix until well covered evenly by the sauce. Serve onto serving bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Note: You may also serve it with the sauce on top of the pasta as seen in the photo above.

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