Monday, March 7, 2011

Pasta Amatriciana

We hit an eight year old benchmark this weekend. This little boy of mine was baptized. See that giant cookie shield with the CTR? CTR stands for "Choose the Right." Unless you ask my pesty brother, Roy. He'll tell you that it means "Cook the Rice." "Choose the Right" or "Cook the Rice." You can't lose. We took exactly 793.26 pictures. West with a cookie. West on the piano. West eating breakfast. West brushing his teeth. West taking out the trash. We couldn't help ourselves. I promise not to show you all of them. But, here are a few of my favorites. This is West with soon-to-be-eight years old cousin, Reeve. They look solemn, sane, and very holy in this picture. This is how they looked a few hours later. Wild, wacky, and totally normal. For eight year old, boys that is. Here's West with his Dad and my Dad. All in navy blue sportscoats. My handsome boys.Here is the Bishop with West and his neighborhood buddy, Aidan, who also got baptized that day. The Bishop is the one that made that giant cookie shield above. Needless to say, he's enormously popular with the recently-baptized crowd.
Here is one last shot of West, with those who know him best. He drives us crazy. He makes us laugh. He suprises us with his little acts of kindness. He stays up too late. He's impossible to wake up. He has a noisy voice. He goes crazy for his baby cousins. He wants to be a Jedi and a doctor when he grows up. We love him.
Now this past busy week was a true test of my fast dinner repertoire. I wanted to pick up quesadillas at Del Taco, I really did. But I also knew that next week, while we're on vacation, we'll be eating out nightly. I didn't think I could handle that for two weeks in a row, so I kicked it into gear and made dinner, chop-chop. I'm compiling a list of my favorite 30 minute dinners that don't require a trip to the grocery store. This baby is one of them. "Amatriciana" is a rich, smoky bacon and tomato sauce that is simply luscious over pasta. It's even better the next day, so plan on having leftovers for lunch. You've got time to make it for dinner tonight. Put your water on to boil before you start the sauce and you'll be eating dinner faster than you can say "Choose the Right." Or "Cook the Rice." Either way, you can' t lose.
Pasta Amatriciana
Estimated Cost: $7.00 for 6 large servings
Money Saving Tips: Check the price of bacon at the butcher counter; it might even be cheaper than bacon on sale. If you can't find a good price on bacon, the sauce is just as delicious-albeit not smoky-without it. When you do find a good price on bacon, buy a few pounds and pop them into the freezer.
1 lb. pasta (I used farfalle)
6-8 slices of bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 (14 ounce) cans of petite diced tomatoes, with juices
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
pinch of brown sugar
Optional for serving: grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley or basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook according to package directions and keep warm. In a large skillet, cook diced bacon until cooked and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. To same skillet with bacon fat, add onion and cook until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Add diced tomatoes with juices, pepper flakes, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle the bacon over the top. Serve with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.
Next Up:
Where Winter and Spring Merge Spinach Salad


Leslie said...

Oh, it looks like you had a nice day.
I knew you would.
West looks so handsome in his essential blue blazer, and so did Dad and Shane.
I wish we had been able to come.
West and Reevey look like two little twins and two little pals. I love the picture of them in dress up clothes back to their usual fun selves. Tell West Congratulations for us. We're proud of him.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Good for West.

That looks delicious.

Katie and Mark said...

Congrats to West and to your whole family! What a special day. I love your family picture!

As for the food, it's about the only thing that could compete with West's adorable face. :) It looks so delicious, and I am ALL about getting food on the table quick and easy. Thanks.

Seth and Julie said...

What a special day! He looks so proud and so prepared. Something about him always reminds me of our Grandpa, and of course he also reminds me very much of Jackson at that age. You all look beautiful and happy. Congrats to West from your WI cousins. Do you know that my kids tell everyone about how their cousin designed the Push Up wrapper? Yep, he is their claim to fame and they have still yet to meet him. Someday, I hope.

Emily said...

Congratulations to West! He's so cute!

This pasta looks very, very delicious. I love farfalle.

annaliese said...

Congratulations West and Family! We are so happy for all of you! West really does look so handsome in his blue blazer. I can just picture him in 11 years or so heading off to the mission field!........When did 11 years start sounding like not that much time?
This dinner looks delicious and I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks Prudy!

annaliese said...

Sorry that was MK above and not Annaliese!

Michal said...

Congrats, West! We are proud of you. You looked so handsome with your dad and grandpa in that picture! You have some good examples in your life to follow.

Prudy, looks like a great dinner. I love the fast ones that come together with stuff I have on hand. I'll have to add this one to the list.

gigi said...

Wonderful pictures of such a special weekend!

I think I could smell this dish right through my computer screen, yum!

Brookie Cookie said...

Sorry WE couldn't be there Wish we could have, what a very special day!

Rhandi said...

Yummy recipe- fun blog! I haven't made Amaticiana in so long, I can't even think of where my recipe is, I may just have to try yours. I love the combination of simple flavors with a little bit of spice. Great dish! Congrats on your little one's big day!

Valerie said...

Happy belated birthday to your little guy. My youngest was just baptized last month.

I've never heard of this pasta dish, but copied it to make soon. I love balsamic vinegar and it looks so good.

Bloomin Rose said...

Your family is precious, your boys are adorable.

stacey said...

We had this for dinner tonight and it was great!! I only had 2 cans of tomatoes so I threw a bunch of frozen spinach in the water at the end of the pasta's cooking time. Great meal - and fast, just like you promised. I love your site but don't think I've commented before. Congrats on West's baptism!