Lidia's Italy is one of my favorite cooking shows - her recipes are always so "simple yet complex". Last night's dinner was inspired by Lidia's Buccatini All’ Amatriciana, a Roman classic. It's "inspired" because I didn't have pancetta, guanciale or the right pasta needed to make the dish. Instead I used bacon and thick spaghetti.
a)wilt b)cook three ingredients separately c)mix it all together and add crushed red pepper flakes and salt
The techniques used on the show were a little different...
On the show, she used about 1/2 cup of water to wilt the onions before adding the olive oil. Once the water evaporated, the oil was added to the pan and the onions continued to cook. She also kept the three main ingredients apart until the bacon fat was rendered, then mixed it all up. I used a good amount of crushed red pepper - it's suppose to have a decent kick!
Make sure to save 1/2- 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer cooked pasta and reserved water into the saucepan.
I also didn't pass the tomatoes through a food mill. I simply separated the tomatoes from the juice, sliced them into strips then added it (with juice) to the pan along with the bacon and onions.
Shut of the heat and add Pecorino Romano, mix well.
I also made a quick antipasti - Prosciutto wrapped asparagus.
I tossed the asparagus with olive oil, sliced shallots, freshly ground pepper and a little bit of salt. Baked it for about 10 minutes then wrapped 3 or 4 with a slice of prosciutto.