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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rigatoni con Crema di Pomodoro e Pancetta Affumicata

If you know me at all, you know I love dinner parties. Last summer, I had a group of 6 people over for dinner. I had a bunch of pasta to cook with, so I made Rigatoni con Crema di Pomodoro e Pancetta Affumicata.

Rigatoni con Crema di Pomodoro e Pancetta Affumicata
(aka: Rigatoni with Creamy Tomato and Smoked Italian Pancetta)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 pound smoked pancetta, chopped
2 large ( 1 pound) tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 leaves fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream (may sub half and half)
1 box (16 ounces) Rigatoni
2/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Heat pancetta in large skillet over medium heat about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pancetta from skillet and drain fat.

Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add pancetta, tomatoes, basil and seasoning. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cream and continue cooking 2 additional minutes. Pour tomato cream mixture into blender or food processor; blend until creamy.

Cook Rigatoni according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Add tomato cream sauce; toss.

Sprinkle with cheese; transfer to serving platter. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.

Notes: Now, I really didn't follow the recipe to a 'T'. First off, I increased the recipe by about half. I browned the onion in the pancetta drippings, used less oil, and chopped up about 5 or 6 medium-sized tomatoes for the sauce. It didn't quite look like enough, and it was sorta runny, so I threw in one can of Italian-style stewed tomatoes, along with about half a can of tomato paste. Well, that made it too thick. So I thinned it with about a 1/4 cup of water, and then finally added the cream (I used half 'n' half). I only put about 3/4 of the sauce in the blender, and kept the rest chunky to keep the sauce meaty and robust. For the cheese, I got lazy and used a pre-shredded Italian 3 cheese mix.

Here's how the finished product looked:





Since it was such a lovely night, we dined alfresco. Here's what our table looked like before we dug in. Not pictured is the garlic bread (it had a few minutes left in the oven), and the nectarine cheesecake we had for dessert.

4 comments:

  1. what I want to know is, how did you get the table out to the backyard? I'm thinking of that tiny side door, or maybe out the window? hmmm... ;) looks yummy anyway!

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  2. Mmm... the pasta looks great on its own, but to hear that it was followed by nectarine cheesecake! That's just too much. And all eaten outside... I'm in a swoon, for sure. :)

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  3. I thought its rigatoni... Why iss it penne after cooked?

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  4. Those are Penne rigate not rigatoni

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