Italian Cooking: Week Four

To round off this month, I wanted to add a pasta dish I’ve never tried before.  This one just happened to be one of those recipes where you let the sauce cook for TWO HOURS before you even start the next step.

Trust me…I wouldn’t have done this to myself if the end product wasn’t going to be fantastic!

Sunday Dinner: Tagliatelle all’Amatriciana

italian 1.2I found this great recipe with BACON in it from my new favorite recipe site SAVEUR.  The original recipe called for spaghetti, but I have a thing for tagliatelle noodles, so I went with tagliatelle.

I was introduced to tagliatelle noodles in Venice, Italy.  They served the noodles with a Bolognese sauce.  I absolutely fell in love with the noodles and searched high and low to find a couple of boxes before I left the country.

About three months after my visit to Italy, an Italian market opened up a block away from me.  They sold only authentic Italian ingredients direct from Italy.  Now, I can have tagliatelle whenever I want it.

For this recipe, I followed it to the very last instruction EXCEPT…

I added mushrooms to the sauce.

This, of course, I probably would not have done if I had read all of the instructions before I started, because I had to puree the sauce.  It actually didn’t turn into a disaster.  It actually turned out rather nicely, making the sauce a little thicker.

I also shaved off half an hour on the cooking time.  The sauce (which I was cooking in a cast iron skillet) was becoming too thick, losing a lot of its liquid.  I could add more water or just watch it burn, so I opted to say it was done because it had been cooking for an hour and a half already (not to mention the extra 15-20 minutes of cooking the bacon).  In other words…sometimes you just want to start eating after waiting so long for the food to cook.

You also need to make a judgment call based on what you see happening in front of you when you are cooking.  Sometimes two hours is okay on some stoves.  Other times, it’s not.  In this case, I think two hours would have produced burned sauce and trust me, that is the worst.

The most important part of this recipe is, of course, the BACON.  I think I probably would have liked to have more bacon in it, which I may try to do next time.  It would be nice to be able to sprinkle on a lot of bacon with the parmesan cheese at the end.  I mean…for those who love bacon…more bacon is usually better.


So that concludes this month’s recipes for Italian month.  Next month, I’m going to do things a little differently.  I need to clean out my pantry and the refrigerator, so along with my ONE YEAR TO AN ORGANIZED HOME challenge, I’m going to create and share a few recipes that I pull together in the kitchen by using what I have already.

For those of you reading, that means recipes that are not as complicated…or maybe they are, because risotto is on the list and if you’ve made risotto before, you know that’s not an easy thing to make and it takes a lot of attention.

I may also turn on the oven and actually make something sweet for once…producing actual FOOD PORN.  Or I can at least try to.  🙂

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