Pasta? Again? You bet your ass.
There is literally no excuse to not make this pasta. It requires no talent, six ingredients, and the 12 minutes you were going to waste tweeting stupid pun hashtags about Osama being dead. #youknowitstrue
We could easily re-make this dish in less time than it took me to write about it.
Red Wine Pasta with Bacon and White Beans (adapted from Jules Clancy)
1.5-2 cups red wine (not pinot noir)
5 tbsp tomato paste
1 can cannelini beans
1 box mezzi rigatoni pasta
5-6 strips Applewood smoked bacon
Start boiling the pasta water. Right before you put the pasta on, dump 1.5 cups of wine, the tomato paste, the beans, and the bean liquid into a saute pan over medium heat. Throw in the mezzi rigatoni. Bring the sauce to a boil and then drop to a simmer. Stir frequently, til the wine reduces (you can add more if it becomes thick, and probably should), the beans start to break, and the texture thickens.
While this happens, cook bacon. John’s important educational moment:
Bacon really, really needs to be cooked low and slow. Aka, don’t turn the burner to high and shrivel those suckers to an oblivion the way they do at diners. A breakup almost occurred because Anna used to like bacon charred to the texture of tree bark, so she learned quickly that cooking bacon that way actually sucks. Instead, start the bacon in a cold cast iron pan then place over low heat. It’ll start sizzling after a few minutes, so just keep turning it with a fork periodically until the fat renders and the meat is crispy and brown. You’ll know its done when it looks a little rabid and white bubbles start moving over the tops of the slices. Pat it dry, coarsely chop it up, and try not to eat half of it before the pasta’s done.
Drain the pasta (people never remember to save the water and then swear at the sink as they realize mid-pour that they forgot, but that isn’t necessary here) and toss into the sauce. Stir in the bacon bits, pepper, and a little cheese. Top with more cheese.
Pasta erryday. Pasta forever.
Every other blogger makes this sauce, so we christened the new kitchen with it. We would not be good at the internet if we didn’t make this sauce. You don’t need cheese. You barely need salt. It doesn’t take 4 hours. And if you’re thinking, wtf guys, this is Italian food, where’s the garlic, where are the damn DRIED HERBS… just wait. Also, this recipe is great if you’re kind of broke and avoid grocery shopping.
Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (use San Marzanos - this is supposedly optional, but it really isn’t because these are way better)
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and halved
Place that lengthy list of ingredients in a 3-quart, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Reduce to a slow steady simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered (this is important for evaporation), periodically stirring and smashing up the whole tomatoes. Remove it from heat and throw out the onion. Then blend for a minute or so with a stick blender to a smooth, thick consistency. Toss with a long pasta.
The simplest, most delicious meal when you are about to leave town, own no food, and don’t want to blow $50 bucks at Whole Foods for 5 items. It is our permanent fallback for blizzards, during allergy season, after drinking, and before drinking. Sometimes during drinking. There are very few life problems that aglio y olio does not improve.
Box of long pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
Hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
Cook your pasta to the appropriate al dente. While it cooks, crush the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and brown in oil with the hot flakes. Remove from heat.
Save a little pasta water before draining. Remove the garlic mush from the pan and put the pan back on the heat with the pasta, adding the reserved water (to help it bind). Grind some black pepper and grate Parm on top after plating.