mercoledì 28 novembre 2012

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

The credit — or the blame — for my starting this blog goes to no one other than dear Laura Tulimiero, author of the marvelous and very popular foodblog, Matematica e Cucina (  She not only encouraged me, but she published my very first foodblog post, on her own blog.  This was a great honor and an enormous pleasure.

The following is an English translation of this début post.

I dedicate this peasant recipe to my dear wife Jeanette, who likes it very much.

1 lb. pasta (we prefer cavatappi)
extra-virgin olive oil
hickory-smoked bacon
1/4 onion, cut in little pieces but not diced
28 oz. peeled plum tomatoes (San Marzano, if possible)
1 carrot
1 small chili pepper, or crushed red pepper
12 oz. frozen peas
fresh basil
pecorino romano or another Southern Italian grating cheese (absolutely NOT parmigiano or another Northern Italian cheese)

Americans are not very adventurous in their use of bacon.  They have it for breakfast.  Certain people drape it over a turkey before putting it in the oven.  And of course, BLT's are very popular. I, on the other hand, use bacon in a completely different way.

I keep it not in the refrigerator but in the freezer.  When I want to use it, I take it from the freezer and with a large, serrated knife, I cut widthwise a piece about an inch thick.  Then, I defrost the piece either in the microwave or in the frying pan.  (In this recipe, I employed the second method.)

In the frying pan, on a low flame, I heat the oil.  Then, still on a low flame, I add this frozen piece of bacon.

After about 5 minutes, the little pieces separate.

Fry them until golden.

Then, add the onion and fry it until translucent.  Don't brown either the bacon or the onion too much; the flame must always remain low.

When the bacon and onion are golden, add the tomatoes that you've already puréed in the blender.

At this point, absolutely do NOT add sugar.  Add a carrot and a few raisins (perhaps also one sundried tomato).  Use these, never sugar, to sweeten the sauce.

Add the hot pepper.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, always on a relatively low flame.

5 minutes before the end, add the peas.

Shut the gas and add the basil.  Add the pecorino at the table.

Note: the recipe does not need salt.  Between the salt in the pasta water, the salt in the bacon, the salt in the can of tomatoes, and the salt in the pecorino, you do not need extra salt.

As you can see, Matteo liked this dish a lot!

1 commento: