Thursday, 14 February 2013

Pasta from the back of the new book!

Here is the recipe for the first pasta dish at the back of Leftovers - designed to be eaten when you've just finished a good book and are feeling a temporary sense of loss of entertainment. This pasta is my slightly indulgent take on an Amatriciana – the classic Roman sauce of tomato, bacon and cheese.  It is nowhere near authentic, but it is easy, delicious, comforting and not that bad for you, in a relative universe.  These quantities make enough sauce for two people, but I’ve written as a ‘serves one’, so that if there’s one of you, you can eat the leftover sauce the following day, once you are engrossed in your new book / film, and can’t be bothered to cook.

100g linguine
70g cubed pancetta
a knob of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion – red or white, or 1 large echalion / banana shallot - chopped
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
a pinch of red chilli flakes
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of salt
a tin of tomatoes - peeled cherry tomatoes work well
40ml of single cream
pecorino (this pecorino has been knocking about my fridge since 6th October 2012 and is still perfectly edible.)

Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat until the butter has melted.  Add the onion / shallot and cook over a gentle heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the pancetta and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes, stirring, so that the onion starts to turn golden, but doesn’t turn brown.
Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes, salt and sugar, stir, and leave to cook gently on a low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling salted water.  I chose linguine, because I love the feel of the flatness in my mouth.  

Also, I like the way that the strands of pasta line up in such an orderly and neat fashion before they boil into disarray in the water.

Two minutes before the pasta is ready, add a dollop of single cream to the tomato sauce, stir, taste for seasoning and bring back to a simmer.

Drain the pasta, pour the sauce on top and grate some fresh pecorino (or parmesan) on the top immediately.

For what it’s worth, my recommendations as to what to read next are as follows: 

If you’re looking for something very funny, try Bossypants by Tina Fey.
If you’d prefer a smart, sharp thriller, try Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Or if you fancy a movie, see my guide to Ryan Gosling’s greatest hits later in the book.  Or rent / buy The Silver Linings Playbook with the ever-brilliant Jennifer Lawrence, and the not unattractive Bradley Cooper.  It’s funny, a bit spiky, clever and romantic.

1 comment:

  1. That looks sooooo yummy. Drooling. Which is an unattractive look.