Simple pasta dinners are a staple in our household (it should really be apartment-hold but I don’t think that’s a real word). The main reason is that we frequently can’t figure out what to actually eat for dinner and we usually get to the point where either I need to make something very fast or we go out to dinner (and, given both of us have an innate frugality, eating out is seldom an option).
This is the point where I usually reach for a simple pasta recipe. This was the situation last night. To complicate matters further, we had spaghetti al pomodoro earlier in the week so a tomato sauce is out.
We eat traditional Bucatini alla Amatriciana relatively regularly (as regularly as anything we eat) so the same dish just without the tomatoes sounded like it could be a winner. And it was quite good. It’s very similar to Spaghetti Alio e Olio, just with panchetta added (and how could that be a bad thing?). The dish is extremely fast: the critical path is the cooking of the pasta. The sauce cooks in about 4 to 5 minutes. The only key is to not put in any more butter or olive oil than specified; if you do, it will end up too oily.
In other news, we didn’t clean up from the pork chops the other night and we think our cats absconded with the leftovers. Oops. I’m just hoping they didn’t hide it somewhere and we’ll find it in several weeks. Our cats eating pork always makes me imagine the two of them stalking and attacking a pig.
Spaghetti alla Amatriciana Bianco
Adapted from Trattoria Cooking
1/2 lbs. spaghetti or bucattini
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 oz. panchetta, diced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Italian parsley, diced
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- In boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 1 minute less than indicated on the packaging. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the panchetta and red pepper flakes and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked past, the reserved cooking water, the parsley, and parmesan cheese. Stir and scrap up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute more. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese on top.