Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pasta with Smoky Angry Tomato Sauce

Smoky angry tomato sauce? Hell yeah, bring it! I plowed ahead with the original specified quantity of eight ounces of rigatoni and substituted two 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes for the 28-oz can of whole tomatoes. Maybe I still have more to learn, but the idea of crushing whole tomatoes with the back of a spoon as the sauce cooks was not a dream of mine.

Pasta with Smoky Angry Tomato Sauce
adapted from Cooking Club
click to print

12 oz. rigatoni or penne (tube-shaped pasta)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta; drain.

Get the salted water to a raging boil; add rigatoni and start checking it for doneness after 6 minutes. The package said to cook 14 to 16 minutes; mine was ready after 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.

Add onion; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in pasta. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

And then because it was saucier than I prefer, I cooked the remaining 4 ounces of rigatoni and stirred that into what was left in the skillet. The pasta:sauce ratio was much more my speed.

With an increase in pasta, the sauce didn't turn out very angry. Consider upping the pepper even if using only eight ounces of rigatoni. Very clean tasting, which I think reflects nicely how simple food with only a handful of ingredients can be so good. The dish is subtly smoky from the bacon and I think next time I'll crank it up a notch by using fire-roasted tomatoes.

If you don't cook pasta twice, this is easily done in 30 minutes.

  • rigatoni: $0.99
  • bacon: $1.13
  • onion: $0.31
  • garlic: $0.20
  • diced tomatoes: $0.96
  • Parmesan cheese: $1.08
Total: $4.67 or about $1.17 for each of four servings.