Thursday, 14 May 2015

Pass da Pasta!

Bucatini con Peperone Rosso, Funghi, Pancetta & Ricotta Salata
Bucatini with Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Bacon & Salted Ricotta

Nothing beats a great plate of pasta! It just doesn't- it is one of those things that you have to admit! There is no more popular food in the world- it is inexpensive, always easy to prepare and infinitely versatile... There is a pasta dish out there to suit each and every taste!

As they say... Check this out! Simple as can be, pretty and delicious and oh so good! And yes... Ready in just 20 minutes or so! So... What are you waiting for?!?!

The great thing about pasta dishes, is that you can always find something to flavor them with... and it definitely needn't always be a sauce! That is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to pasta dishes... Unless they are Italians that is!

Pasta needs simply to be "dressed", to be flavored, to be coated with something aromatic. It can be something as simple as some grated Pecorino and black pepper as in "cacio e pepe ", or oil and garlic as in "aglio e olio"... Or something slightly more lavish such as this simple dish right here!


To prepare 2 portions of pasta, as seen here, I needed: of course the bucatini, 14-15 mushrooms, 1 small onion, 1 handful of finely chopped bacon, 1 red pointed or bell pepper, some fresh parsley and basil, a little salted ricotta and by way of seasoning, simply salt and pepper. very, very basic stuff.


There is such a richness of flavors going on in this dish... And I think that the secret lies in the fact that I kept the ingredients simple and concentrated and let them do all of the hard work for me, without me trying to add anything at all. Sometimes it takes a little restraint, where I normally tend towards reckless abandon- lol!


Whilst the pasta boiled away in salted water, as usual, I began by frying the finely chopped onion together with the bacon and the pepper, which I chopped a little larger.


Once the onion had become translucent, I added the mushrooms, which I cut in half and seasoned with a little salt but plenty of pepper.


With no added fat other than that of the bacon, the mushrooms soon became lovely and golden... They do of course shrink down a little in size, but they remain juicy and packed with flavor.


Next, add the bucatini, along with a little of the water they have been boiling in and a good pinch of finely chopped parsley.


Gently toss the pasta until most of the water is absorbed... Of course, it will pick up all of the great flavors from the pan... The mushroom, onion, bacon and pepper... And all get trapped in those lovely thick hollow tubes... Yummy! Serve with grated salted ricotta cheese and plenty of basil... A last grind of pepper... And you are ready to enjoy a real feast!


Beautiful as it is... It is soon about to get even better... Just make sure to have plenty more basil at hand!

Pluck the leaves apart, don't cut them, scatter them over the pasta and carefully stir them in... They will gently wilt and infuse the pasta with their aroma... And the combination with all of the other ingredients will be truly wonderful!

Now... Have you got that saucepan on the stovetop and have you already started, or not?! If not... Go do it! You'll like it!

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