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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tomato and Bacon Spaghetti (Pasta All'Amatriciana)

from America's Test Kitchen

serves 8-10

1/2 pound sliced bacon (or salt pork), cut into ~1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
16 ounces spaghetti
1/4 pound Pecorino Romano, shredded

Cook bacon on medium high heat with about 1/4 cup water in a skillet. The water will evaporate over time, but keep the pork moist. Keep cooking until bacon is crisp and most of the fat is rendered (about 5 minutes). Pull out pork with slotted spoon and set fat aside to cool.

Add tomato paste, wine, and red pepper flakes back to the skillet and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 12-16 minutes.

Bring water for pasta to boil. Season with 1 tablespoon salt. Cook pasta until al dente (follow package instructions, but about 10 minutes). Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain.

In a small mixing bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat over the shredded cheese and toss (this will help prevent clumping).

Combine spaghetti, crisp bacon, sauce, cheese, and about 1/3 cup pasta water (depends on how tight the sauce is). Top with a little more Pecorino Romano.