Pasta On The Run

(on the phone)
A Friend : S, I’m coming to pick you up in one hour’s time
Moi : Hmm?? isn’t lunch at noon?
AF: Yes, but a lot of traffic. So I’ll come to pick you up first then we pick the others up.
M : Okkk..

And that’s how I scrape off the valentine’s day meal I was planning to cook and make pasta on the run instead. The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti is very daunting, primarily for the lack of photos, but the dishes have always turned out fine and lovely. I am happy that my pasta repertoire has widened, even when it’s just a little bit.

(adapted from The Glorious Pasta of Italy: Penne with Roasted Red Peppers & Cream)
serve 1

3 slices of bacon, sliced 1-cm wide
1 tbsp EVOO
half of small yellow onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper, de-seed and chopped
1 roasted yellow pepper, de-seed and chopped
sea salt
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika paste
1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
fusilli enough for 1 person
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated

  • Cook pasta al dente as instructed. Keep aside 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Roast the bacon over the pan and set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat up the EVOO and stir fry the onions till they turn soft and translucent. Add the roasted bell peppers, salt and balsamic vinegar. Add 1-2 tbsp of pasta water if needed. Cook until the vinegar has been absorbed.
  • Transfer to food processor and puree till smooth. Add a little of cream to aid, if needed.
  • Transfer back the puree to pan and add the remaining cream, paprika paste & tomato paste. Cook for another 2-3 mins. Turn off the fire.
  • Transfer the pasta into the pan and gently toss. Stir in half of the parmigiano, half of the bacon and toss again. Add a splash or two of the pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed.
  • Transfer the dressed pasta to individual plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon. Serve immediately

(later on the phone between me and H)
Me : Soo.. how was your lunch?
H : Hmm it was good.
M : Only good???
H : Well, it was close to very good.
M :  What’s lacking?
H : Not enough bacon lah!

So my friends, add more bacon if needed. Use Pancetta if you have the choice.
And the original recipe calls for roasted peppers from a jar, especially when garden varieties is not in-season. But I don’t have that option. And that’s okay. Because the perfume of a charred pepper is wonderful.


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