Great ten minute bacon and tomato spaghetti.
photo credit: the gutsy gourmet.
Italians, for all their talk of slow food, were the original inventers of the ten minute weekday supper! What I mean is, Italian food is all about taking a few great regional ingredients, at the height of their seasonal peak, and using them in a really simple way. Italians glorify in simple preparations that retain the integral qualities of the seperate ingredients involved. If you have a great tomato, then don't fuss about too much, present it such a way that everyone eating it will recognize the beauty of that great tomato.
I think that this can be illustrated through one of my favorite suppers. When the restaurant closes down, I rarely want something complicated. I hunger for something rustic and pure and satisfying...and this quick spaghetti dish is one that I prepare for my family often.
Ten minute bacon and tomato spaghetti.
- Dried spaghetti
- A small onion and a couple of cloves of garlic
- About 10-15 great tomatoes. 10 big ones or 15 little ones.
- 1/4 lb of good smoky bacon. If you can get artisan bacon, this dish will be even better.
- Parmesan cheese...grated fresh into the pasta.
- Salt n pepper.
- Fresh basil optional. My wife likes it, but I think this pasta is better without it. Your call.
- Get a big pot of boiling water and bring it up to a boil. Make sure you add enough salt...it should taste like the sea.
- As the water is coming to a boil: chop up the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Roughly chop the tomatoes (don't worry about the skins...they'll taste great too) and slice the bacon into 1/4 inch cubes.
- When the water is boiling, add in your spaghetti, and stir it for a minute or so to make sure that all the noodles are separated, continue boiling uncovered, stirring every couple of minutes. NEVER add oil to the water.
- Get a good heavy frying pan and heat it up to medium, splash a couple tablespoons full of olive oil into the pan, and add thechopped onion to the hot oil. After a couple minutes add the chopped bacon and a couple of minutes later add the garlic. You don't want the garlic to burn, so after about 20 seconds toss all your tomatoes and their juices into the pan as well
- Turn up the heat to high, and boil the sauce until it looks like sauce! Add salt and pepper to taste.
By now your pasta is ready, so scoop the pasta out of the water and directly into your large fry pan. Take your parmesan cheese and grate a good amount into the pasta (a good amount is sort of up to you, and you should be tasting it as you go, but about a half cup should do it). Slosh in a bit of the briny pasta water to keep it from getting too dry, taste again for saltiness, and voila...you're done!
You'll really like this dish, and it's a great meal when the tomatoes are at their best. Delicious food doesn't have to be complicated. Take a few really good items, prepare them simply, and you'll eat great every night!
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- Pasta recipes from Epicurious
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