Hello, my name is Erin and I’m addicted to (cooking with) onion.
Now, it’s pretty rare that I’ll eat ’em raw…once in a great while if it’s the right kind of sandwich, but for the most part I just cook with them. They are so versatile and flavorful. Add a some onion to a dish and you’ve got a mellow, sweet, mild flavor that adds all kinds of yumminess without a whole bunch of salt. Or fat. Or calories. I just love the humble little onion. Eric was one of those people who swore up and down he didn’t like onion in anything…guess who has changed his mind. I always, always, always have onions in the house ready to be turned into something delicious…like this fab pasta dish from Rachael Ray!
This pasta dish has everything I love…sweet, mellow onions, smokey bacon, and big old kick of spice. It’s super easy and totally yummy – a great alternative to your everyday meat sauce. The original recipe calls for Bucatini pasta, which is like spaghetti only the tube has a hole down the center. I didn’t even bother looking for that shape because I can guarantee I wouldn’t find it. I subbed rigatoni instead because Eric likes pasta pieces better than pasta strands. She also uses pancetta in the sauce – I subbed bacon. I can’t find pancetta either! Believe me, I’ve looked!
RIGATONI ALL’AMATRICIANA (Recipe adapted from: Foodnetwork.com – Rachael Ray)
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
- 1/4 pound, 4 or 5 slices, pancetta*, chopped (I used 6 slices of bacon – next time I might add a couple more…just to make it a bit more bacon-y. A pound of pasta is a lot, after all.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parm cheese to pass at the table
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.
- Heat a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and pancetta. Cook pancetta 2 or 3 minutes then add onions and garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 7 or 8 minutes more, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and parsley. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce over low heat until ready to serve.
- Cook bucatini pasta to al dente or, with a bite to it. Drain pasta well. Do not rinse. Starchy pasta holds more sauce. Toss hot pasta with sauce and serve. Pass grated cheese at the table to top pasta.
- * Pancetta is Italian rolled, cured pork, similar to bacon, but not smoked. Look for it at your deli counter. Bacon may be substituted resulting in a smoky tomato sauce.