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Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

September 3, 2008

A little while ago I began a to-do list inspired by Kristen at Dine & Dish.  I’m definitely a list person.  It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I need to have it written down.  I’ve attempted doing things before without the aid of a list, like say… going to Target only to get toothpaste, and walking out with $50 worth of everything but toothpaste.  It’s funny until The Husband is giving me the evil eye as he’s brushing his teeth with straight baking soda before bed.

The to-do list has given me a wonderful place to put all of the recipes I find throughout my daily reading of wonderful blogs filled with yummy recipes, the recipes I’ve dog-eared in magazines and the emails filling my inbox that I want to try someday.  As a milwife, I have to purge.  I can’t hold on to things even though I am genetically predisposed to be a pack-rat.  I’ve started working on checking things off of my list and adding to it as I catch more yummy looking things along the way. 

Last night, I tried Rachael Ray’s Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all’Amatriciana.  Since the summer is quickly fading right before my eyes I wanted to take advantage of the last little crop of tomatoes my friends are getting.  Fortunately, a co-worker grows cherry tomatoes and brought some in to share yesterday so I had a variety of tomatoes in our spaghetti.  UN-fortunately, my camera is acting crazy (hint, hint honey!) and didn’t save the pictures I had of the process.

This was one of those surprising dishes that screams summer! but is rib-sticking and hearty.  It was actually perfect for the mood last night.  Hurricane Gustav is making his way into Kansas and the air was crisp and slightly chilly last night.  Today it’s the perfect introduction to fall, a cool 65 degrees, rainy and just perfect for the Buffalo Chicken Burgers and Cajun fries I’m making tonight.

Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all’Amatriciana
Rachael Ray (with my comments)

1 lb spaghetti (I used whole grain)
3 T olive oil – EVOO
1/4 lb pancetta, cut into small pieces (I used ham because the pancetta was way too thinly sliced)
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 t crushed red pepper (I used about 1 1/2 t)
1/2 c white wine or chicken broth (I used Yellow Tail Chardonnay)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2/3 c chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 c basil leaves, torn or chopped
2/3 c grated parmigiano-reggiano 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 pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta (or ham) and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. (Watch this, my ham was doing the happy dance and popping all of the kitchen.)  Add the red onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, parsley and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes burst, 8 to 10 minutes.  (I think this actually took about 20 minutes.)

Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water and then the pasta, tossing to coat. Turn off the heat, add the basil and cheese and serve.  (I stirred the water, cheese and basil in before I did the spaghetti… and it was fine.)

For dessert, I made Prudy’s Chocolate Oatmeal Bars which The Husband and I loved.  If you haven’t made them already, take 15 minutes and whip them up before starting dinner.  I have a confession to make though, I hardly ever eat dessert.  I love to bake, it’s my favorite form of cooking… but I hardly ever eat the things I bake.  The Chocolate Oatmeal Bars might just be one of the few exceptions, they are unlike any other I’ve had due to the barely sweet factor.  Incredible.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2008 09:35

    Ohh that spaghetti looks wonderful, especially over the whole grain pasta. And I’ve been wanting to try Prudy’s Chocolate Oatmeal Bars for a while, thanks for the nudge. Also thanks for bringing up a to-do list, I think I really need to start one, with fall starting I want to be as organized as possible to keep the frantic holiday season running smoothly. I used to do to-do lists all the time but I think I’d forgetten how useful they are to me the past few years as a SAHM. Time to start listin’ 🙂

  2. September 3, 2008 22:45

    I love your Target cautionary tale-we do the same thing around here. I always forget what I go in for and I remember right when I’m being rung up. What to do? I love pasta amitriciana-one of my favorite takes. What’s not to love about bacon and tomatoes? I’m so glad you liked the bar cookies. Hooray. I can’t tell you how many I ate when I was pregnant. If I start to make them often my husband looks at me funny.

  3. September 5, 2008 06:35

    Your dinner looks great. I am especially partial to pasta. My fave.

  4. September 5, 2008 12:06

    I am 100% sure I would love both of these recipes! Yum!!
    I am glad I inspired you… don’t do that very often, especially when it comes to anything in the organizing category :

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