Oh pasta “how do I love thee”? “Let me count the ways”…..
Rigatoni, Farfalle, Ravioli, Manicotti, Pastina, Bucatini….
Okay I’ll stop, you get the idea. I love pasta – all forms, shapes and sizes! I’m hoping that you love pasta to. I know traditional pasta isn’t always the most figure friendly, and for various health reasons some can’t and don’t eat it. Fortunately, in our family we don’t have any food allergies or restrictions. This makes it even harder to resist our favorite pasta meals. As a compromise, I try and limit the amount of traditional pasta we eat to once a week. This is just enough to satisfy my pasta loving family.
This week I made bucatini pasta with pancetta. In case you don’t know bucatini is a long tube pasta. It is long like spaghetti but a bit thicker and has has a hole running down the middle of it. It’s usually served with pancetta, butter or carbonara sauce, or vegetables.
Other than its great flavor I love how quick this dish is to prepare. You can definitely have this meal prepped, cooked and on the table in 30 minutes (or so). Here’s the quick run down and recipe.
Pasta Alternatives: If you don’t eat any type of pasta try this with zucchini spaghetti or if you only eat gluten free try this Gluten Free Bucatini I found on Amazon. These options may or may not change the over all preparation and cooking time.
Happy Cooking and enjoy!
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Step by Step:
Bucatini (or similar pasta);peeled San Marzano tomatoes (drained of most liquid);pancetta,crushed garlic,white wine; extra virgin olive oil; grated parmesan or pecorino cheese; fresh oregano reserved cooking liquid.
OPTIONAL: Omit the garlic and add onion/shallot to this dish. I use garlic because some family members don’t like onions. This change shouldn’t vary the cooking time too much. I would say 1/4 cup of onion or shallot would be enough. I haven’t measured this out so you might have to adjust the quantity.
- The first thing to do is drain your peeled tomatoes from the excess puree/juice in the can. You can reserve the juices for another dish. This is not supposed to be a “saucy” dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook your pasta according to the package directions in plenty of salted water.
NOTE: some people are more comfortable preparing the pasta first and setting aside prior to preparing the sauce. This is totally fine, especially if your still getting comfortable in the kitchen. Put the drained pasta in a covered bowl coated with a dash of olive oil. Also, reserve some cooking liquid and set it aside in case you need it at the end of preparation.
- For the sauce: In a large sauté pan crisp the pancetta and set aside. This should take about 5 minutes. Drain the excess fat from the pan (or leave it if you like). NOTE: Use traditional bacon if you cannot find pancetta. Check your local Trader Joe’s, if you have one, they may carry it (my local store does).
- Add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add the crushed garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add the wine and then after it comes to a simmer add the tomatoes. Break them up a little bit and continue to cook for an additional 7 minutes or so (I like to make sure the alcohol has had time to burn off).
- Add the pancetta to the pan, cook another minute and then add the oregano. Drain your pasta when it reaches the desired doneness. I like it al dente – with a little bite. Remember to reserve a 1/2 cup of liquid before discarding. If you like the sauce a little thinner then you can gradually add the reserved cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pan, coat through the sauce, and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Reference and Photo Credit: