I have guilt induced writer’s block. I admit, I’ve been avoiding Two Recipes. I think it’s because it’s close to the New Year and my resolution is almost done and now I need to think about what’s next. This is not my strong suit, the “what’s next.” Poor foresight; that’s what they called it.
I know that I want to keep cooking. I know that I want to keep writing. But do you want to keep reading? Does this continue to be a resolution? Or is this a permanent gig I’ve got going here?
So while I think about these trivial things that I’m making into a big deal, here are some bacon and carbs for you. Think of it as a little pick me up–everything you’ve come to expect from me and from Two Recipes. Bacon. Pasta. Done.
Linguine All’Amatriciana is just a fancy, albeit beautiful, Italian word for pasta with spicy tomato sauce laced with crunchy, salty, smoky bacon. So, it’s awesome, obviously.
It starts like all good things start, by frying up some bacon.
Now, I’d recommend doing this even you’re cooking a recipe that doesn’t call for it, because everyone in your building, or household, will think you’re awesome. You make bacon happen. They want to be your friend. Trust me.
After the bacon is crunchy, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain. Pour off all of the bacon fat, save about two tablespoons, then add chopped onion and some garlic.
I don’t have a picture of this because the pan was too hot and I had to move fast. Sorry.
To the onions and garlic, add 1 can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes, salt, plenty of black pepper, a little bit of oregano, and a good helping of crushed red pepper.
Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for at least 20 minutes so the flavors meld and become nice and concentrated. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the linguine and cook until al dente. When it’s finished, reserve some of the pasta water, and drain. Return the pasta to the pot, and pour on the tomato sauce.
Toss that around a bit, adding some of the starchy pasta water if needed, then add the bacon!
“Oh hello. I’m your neighbor (husband, wife, child, sister, brother, etc), I just couldn’t help but smell your delicious cooking (bacon). Would you like to be friends?”
Toss all the glorious bacon and pasta and tomato together. Serve it in a warmed bowl with plenty of Parmesan on top.
This pasta flirts with the edge of being a simple “red sauce” pasta, but the bacon saves it. Not that simple red sauce is a bad thing. It’s actually one of my favorite things. But I also like bacon, so.
I hope you all forgive me for being absent. I made you bacon and pasta, so I think you should. Bacon makes friends (see: everything I’ve been talking about so far).
I’m going to work on this foresight thing. In fact, I foresee some exciting new things for Two Recipes, and I hope you’ll be there with me! It’s working already.
Here’s the recipe!
Linguine All’Amatriciana (adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated)
- 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you like)
- 28 ounce can of diced San Marzano tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound dried linguine
- Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and return to medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add diced tomatoes to skillet and season with salt, black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, while pasta is finishing.
- Add sauce to drained pasta and toss to coat, adding extra pasta water if sauce needs thinning out. Add bacon and toss again.
- Serve in bowls with grated Parmesan cheese on top.