Wednesday, September 26, 2012

penne with peppers and bacon

We believe that Marcella's Italian Kitchen is the most under-appreciated of all her wonderful cook books. The wonderful pasta recipes are worth more than the price of admission. Here is an incredible taste treat we have adapted from one of the recipes in this book. Simple, fabulous and you will love it.

for the sauce:

  • four tablespoons of butter
  • three tablespoons olive oil
  • two good-sized red bell peppers
  • one half cup onion, chopped
  • one clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • six ounces bacon, sliced and chopped into quarter inch pieces
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one quarter cup freshly grated pecorino (or parmesan)
  • two tablespoons chopped parsely
for the pasta:
  • one pound of penne or similar tubed pasta
Cut open the peppers and seed them and get rid of the core. Then slice and chop the peppers into quarter inch squares.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and saute the bacon until it is starting to brown but not yet crisp. Remove from the skillet and set aside on paper towels. Use a tablespoon of the fat as below (optional).

In another saute pan put in the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter, over a medium high heat. (If, like us, you like that flavor of fat, also add the reserved tablespoon of fat from the bacon). Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion starts to turn  soft. Add the peppers and cook for ten minutes or so until the peppers are soft but not mushy. Add the bacon back into the pan and salt and some freshly ground pepper. Stir and saute another minute.

Meanwhile bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and stir. Continue cooking until al dente. Save a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain.

Add the pasta to the reheated sauce and stir. Add the tablespoon of butter and the parmesan and stir. Add from the reserved pasta water as necessary to keep the sauce moist. Cover and turn the heat to high and steam for one minute to get the pasta very hot.

Put the finished pasta in warm serving bowls, top with parsley, and serve immediately.

Then get Marcella's Italian Kitchen  and check out all the other great pasta recipes for yourself!