This year my home has been blessed with so many visitors and house guests. Our nephew, George and his dynamic and sparklingly awesome wife
Maddy, together with their son George Jnr have visited on a number of occasions. I am now churning out bracelets, necklaces and angels as a result of these. During one of her visits Maddy needed to stock up and took me shopping at a bead shop – say no more! In a former life I must have been a Jackdaw or Magpie for my
eye lights up and my mouth goes onto “auto smile” at the mere glimpse of baubles that have a high bling factor! I never throw a glass jar away – and have a box of naked ones just waiting for some decoration !
Our George is a Tripepi, through and through and although we always attempt a meal at Maddy’s favourite Chinese Restaurant, China Plate and George’s favourite curry spot in Musgrave Road, Little India, he will never pass up the opportunity of a nice big plate of pasta and a laugh with his cuzzies around our table.
Amatriciana sauce originated in the region of Lazio and hails from the town of Amatrice. The dish is traditionally made using dried pork cheek which is called Guancale. As is the case with many Italian dishes, they have been changed over the centuries. This is my version of Amatriciana – the addition of mushrooms, anchovies and capers is my idea of fun and I can’t find Guancale that often in Durban so have substituted with bacon.
Amatriciana Pasta Sauce
Makes 8 Servings
2Tbs of chopped garlic
2 onions finely chopped
½ tsp of smoked dried chilli (optional)
A handful – of black and green olives deseeded
2 packets of bacon chopped into bite sized pieces
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 packets of sliced or chopped mushrooms
2 glasses of dry white wine
8oog cherry or Rosa tomatoes halved
2 small tins or 1 large tin of plum tomatoes – placed in a bowl and squashed by hand
or you can liquidise them if you prefer a smooth sauce.
1 cup of fresh basil
250ml fresh cream
200ml finely grated pecorino
2 packets of spaghetti
In a large frying pan heat enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan to a high heat
Brown your garlic and onion for 2 minutes
Add the Anchovies and capers and cook until the anchovies have disintegrated
Add your bacon, dried chili flakes and rosemary and brown
Add the mushrooms and brown them too
So your pan is now laminated with layers of flavour – the browning of the onion, bacon and mushrooms needs to be
lifted off the bottom of the pan and plonked into your sauce.
This is the flavour base of your sauce and is what raises your pasta sauce up to Diva-liscious-ness!
Add a good two glasses of wine and cook until all of the alcohol has evapourated and then add the freshly cut and halved fresh tomatoes, cover with a lid and cook covered for about 5 minutes on a high heat.
This will soften the tomatoes , now add the squashed or liquidised tinned plum tomato, season with salt, I prefer to use a stock cube or two and plenty of black pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
To Assemble your plates:
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook your Spaghetti
Drain well and return to the pot – add your cream and stir into the spaghetti.
Add half of your Amatriciana Sauce and serve individual portions with a little extra sauce on the top.
My MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF THE DAY!!!
NB NB NB …
Italians absolutely NEVER serve cooked pasta without some sauce or at the very very least, a little olive oil ON IT to dress it. The moment that the cooked pasta comes out of the water it’s been boiled in and is drained is the very moment that is perfect to add your sauce.
This is when the pasta sucks in some of your wonderful sauce and morphs from a bowl of plain white pasta to a bowl of pure heaven.
If you don’t add some sauce or fresh cream or olive oil OF COURSE THE PASTA WILL ALL STICK TOGETHER!!
The poor strands of pasta are clinging to each other for dear life – Naked and Ashamed of their nudity!
Haibo! Shame on You!
Always dress your pasta before serving it!!!!
Have a great day
And as always