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October 25, 2008

I love Saturdays. Especially Saturday mornings. It feels like you have a zillion options for the weekend, so many things you can still get done. Should I embroider? Knit? Go to the library? Bake cookies? Write? Nap? Read? Anything is possible on a Saturday morning.

This is the first weekend in a long time that hasn’t been jam-packed with plans for us, and I hereby resolve to completely enjoy it. We wrapped up the film festival on Thursday (two more great films: Synecdoche, New York and Two Lovers), and so it’s back to the kitchen for me.

This week I’m trying to buy minimal groceries and use up what’s in our pantry and fridge. So this week’s meals probably won’t be too interesting, but hopefully they will be comforting.

I did want to share this recipe with you, which I adapted from Rachael Ray’s magazine. I loved how the cherry tomatoes released all their juices and coated every strand of spaghetti. I think next time I might even leave out the pancetta (I never seem to enjoy that when I cook it at home). The tomatoes are so good on their own, they don’t really need much else.

So here’s the recipe for you…I’m off to enjoy my Saturday.

Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

  • Salt
  • 8 ounces regular spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound chunk of pancetta, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red onion, garlic, crushed red pepper and basil and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add tomatoes, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes burst, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in reserved pasta cooking water and then the pasta, tossing to coat. Turn off the heat, add cheese and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray.

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