Do you know what else is good? This meal will be on your table in less than 30 minutes. Your weeknights just got a little less hectic. In just a few more minutes than it takes to pop open a bottle of marinara sauce, you can have a big plate of spicy, cheesy pasta that's homemade. Throw together a simple Caesar or garden salad, warm up a loaf of bread, open a bottle of red wine, and call it done.
adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Pasta Revolution
serves 4 to 6
kid-freindly adaptation: Adjust the red pepper flakes to your spice tolerance, but if your kids (or spouse) find it too spicy, stir a little cream or half-and-half into their serving to tame it a bit. And if you like things really spicy, feel free to top your serving with extra red pepper flakes. That's the beauty of making your own sauce - you make it exactly how you like it!
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta, diced into small pieces (or bacon)
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 1/2 oz Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup), plus more for serving
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and cook until it's well-browned and crop, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet (if you don't have 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet, add more olive oil to reach that volume). Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes, garlic, and salt, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour the wine into the skillet, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the wine has reduced to about half it's volume, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente, according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Add the sauce, pancetta, and grated cheese, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, and add the reserved water as needed to adjust the consistency. Divide among serving plates and garnish with additional cheese and/or red pepper flakes.