Skip to main content

{Gluten-Free} Pasta All'Amatriciana + Abalone #VirtualSagra


Have you ever had one of those weekends when all the meals you planned were completely derailed? That was my weekend last weekend. I had planned to make Pasta All'Amatriciana for dinner on Friday night. But I was interviewing a chef and a brewer and the interview ran late. Then they wouldn't let me leave without a bag full of food. 

"You're not going to cook tonight," the chef declared. While I was grateful for the bounty - and not having to go home to cook while the boys stared hungrily at me - I really did want to make this dish. 

Saturday I had to make another dish I had planned because there was timing and black truffles involved. I knew my pasta dish would keep, but I was delayed again.

And, on the final day of the weekend, my son's birthday party lunch turned into almost dinner, so we weren't hungry for dinner at all on Sunday. Darn it! So, here we are at the beginning of the new week and I am late on posting this.


This past weekend would've been the 50th Amatriciana Festival in Amatrice, which obviously did not happen due to the massive and tragic earthquake last week. So a few bloggers in a group I'm in decided to cook up a big pot of Amatriciana, and, most importantly, donate to earthquake relief.


Mike from Undiscovered Italy posted this. It includes links to several sites if you wish to make a donation. I opted for Save the Children who, in coordination with the Italian Civil Protection from Lazio Region, has set up a child-friendly space where kids can play, socialize, learn, and express themselves as they recover from this trauma.


Pasta All'Amatriciana is named for the town of Amatrice, about an hour east of Rome. I love that it's a simple dish but has so much flavor! Just think: tomatoes are fried in the rendered fat from guanciale and tossed together with some cheese and pasta. Done.

A quick note about guanciale - I have seen it here and I know I've purchased it in San Francisco - but I was striking out as my deadline loomed. So, I ended up with a chunk of pancetta instead. I'll definitely remake this once I get my hands on some guanciale! Guanciale is cured pork jowl or cheek; its name is derived from guancia, which means 'cheek' in Italian.

Oh, and about the abalone, it is definitely not traditional...but it was one of those meals that I was supposed to make over the weekend and didn't. So, I put it on top of the Pasta All'Amatriciana. The family was split. Two of us thought it was fine. The other two said it didn't belong there.

Ingredients
Sauce (can be made ahead of time)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Pasta
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 8 ounces guanciale or pancetta
  • 1 yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 t hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 C sauce
  • 1/2 C diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 pound pasta (I used a gluten-free spaghetti)
For Serving
  • parmigiano reggiano for serving
  • Meunière-Style Monterey Bay Abalone (click for my recipe), optional

Procedure
Sauce
Melt butter in olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes (and their juices). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have melted down and the sauce has thickened, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Add herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed.

Pasta
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add a dash of salt and a splash of oil


In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, combine the olive oil, guanciale, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Over low to medium heat, cook until the onion is softened and the guanciale has rendered much of its fat, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.



Add in the fresh tomatoes and cook until slightly softened. Pour in the tomato sauce and raise the heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta in the boiling water for a minute less than the package instructs. You want the pasta slightly more than al dente. Drain.

Add the pasta to the simmering sauce and toss until fully coated. It should be in the simmering sauce for at least another minute to finish cooking. Scoop the pasta into individual serving bowls and serve immediately, topped with grated cheese and abalone, if using. Allow diners to grate more cheese, if desired.

Comments

  1. Great cause, glad you got your post in, better late like you than never like me.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa