Monday, December 24, 2007

Penne all'arrabiata with arugula and basil

This is really, really easy. I even taught my sister how to do it. She is not retarded, however. She can make mac n cheese.

You'll need (for 3-4 people):

1 box penne (we made whole wheat)
1 large can tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion, sliced
lots of garlic, sliced
1 large shallot, sliced
2-3T crushed red pepper
4oz. diced pancetta
1t olive oil
2T tomato paste
6 whole allspice berries, toasted and ground (or 1T ground allspice)
grated pecorino
3-4c baby arugula
lots of basil, julienned

Heat salted water for pasta. Cook pasta while you make the sauce until al dente.

Heat olive oil in large skillet (not non-stick). Add pancetta, and cook slowly over medium flame until fat is rendered and pancetta is crispy and delicious. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon, and set aside (you don't want it cooking with the onions and getting soggy). You can easily make this dish vegetarian by skipping this step.

In pancetta drippings (or oil, if vegetarian), add sliced onions, garlic, shallots, red pepper, salt, and pepper. When onions start to release liquid, add allspice. Cook until onions are golden brown.

Add tomato paste; stir and cook 2 minutes.

Add reserved pancetta, tomatoes with their juices (break up the tomatoes with your fingers). Simmer 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, arugula, and basil.

Top with grated pecorino and serve.

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