I ran into my friend Tony White on Friday. We worked together at the last corporate job either of us had. He was always bringing in good stuff from his garden, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, etc. Well, he gave up corporate life and became a full-time farmer and now he supplies fresh produce to the restaurants around town. He is the “farm” in “Farm to Table”.
I had been saying I need to reach out because I was seeing so much good stuff on his Facebook page but just hadn’t gotten around to it. So, imagine my surprise when I was sitting at lunch on Friday and the hostess came up with a big paper bag and asked if we were the cooks – Tony had seen us come in and put together a care package for me.
Needless to say, I was thrilled. (Tony stopped by on his way out and said he threw in the eggplant because he wanted to see what I would do with it. I’ve never cooked eggplant before so I’ve been doing some research and I think I have come up with a good recipe, but that’s a post for another day.)
Today we are talking Pasta Amatrice, Friday evening I looked at my husband and said, “What am I going to do with all those cherry tomatoes? That’s a lot of salad…” He suggested Pasta Amatrice.
Pasta Amatrice is super easy and so good, especially if you have fresh tomatoes. So Saturday I set off for the store for provisions. I really didn’t need much; all it takes to make this sauce is some pancetta, onion, garlic and basil and, of course, tomatoes. The salty pancetta with the sweetness of the tomatoes is just wonderful and it is so easy to make. Bacon and tomato pasta, give it a try!
prep 10 mins
cook 45 mins
total 55 mins
yields 2 servings
1/2 pound pancetta cut in 1/4″ slices (you can use bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
Cut the pancetta in 1/4″ cubes and add to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until brown and crispy. This will take 15-20 minutes if you are using pancetta, 8-10 minutes for bacon. Remove from the pan and drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add pancetta back to the pan with the onion and saute until the onion starts to get soft, about 8 minutes. Add the quartered tomatoes, red chili flakes and garlic and simmer for another 15 minutes or so until the tomatoes break down and become saucy. Add the basil and serve over pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Marie Cook is a retired Grandma from St Louis and she loves to cook. Her mother knew fifty ways to feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and had a knack for making something wonderful out of whatever she happened to have on hand at the time. She was a great teacher and taught Marie well. Today she cooks for her husband and herself on a regular basis, but she also feeds the family they all get together. She has recipes that are easy weeknight dinners, others suitable for date night or entertaining a large crowd. Her recipes are flexible and easy to adapt and prepare. You can view more of her recipes at mariecooks.com.