Monday, May 24, 2010
I read somewhere while I was pregnant for the little man that if you eat a variey of foods that the child will be less picky and I believe it! Unlike when I was younger and pregnant for my daughter where I ate nothing but pizza, burgers, sub, and roast chicken (really healthy I know) this time around I ate every flavor under the sun, and to my hearburn level detriment a lot of spicy food. A whole lot of Indian, and Thai, and my husbands cooking which would not be complete without cayenne, chili powder, or a chile of some kind. I pick on him relentlessly about it and he gets offended, yet 9 times out of 10 if he's cooking it, it's spicy. Good, but hot stuff.
Which then lead us to dishes that are surprisingly spicy, like this one. I mean it's pasta, how often have you eaten spicy pasta? I don't think I've ever really had spicy pasta. Until now.
As I loaded up my plate and the mini-plate with the pasta, fresh bread and a side of veggies (also a side of berries, and such for the Fruit Bat Baby), I handed over his plate while finishing up something at the counter. Batty dug right in finishing off his pasta with fist fulls of berries in between. I dutifully gave him another serving of pasta and handed it over while I prepped another batch of berries, cherries, and grapes for him. Only without the berries to cut the burn we had a small whimpering situation. I gave him his berries, took a big ole bite of my own pasta while inpolitely asking wth a mouth full of food "What's he matter bud?" He didn't have to answer. When that sauce hit the back of my throat I understood just fine. Yawzah! Bread, milk, more pasta. Yum! The baby loved it as well as long as he had his fruit chasers.
It was great as is, we even had a seven year old eat some of the leftovers with no problems, but if your children (or yourselves God forbid) are not into spicy food, you could dial down the red pepper to maybe 1/3 of what the recipe calls for, but just understand you will be out done by a 2 year old that insisted on "More hot pasta please."
Mario Batali (Food and Wine)
1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
12 ounces prepared tomato sauce (homemade, or preservative-free jarred if you want to cut some time)
1 pound *bucatini
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
In a large, deep skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Return the pancetta to the skillet. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley and the reserved cooking water and stir over moderately high heat until the pasta is evenly coated, 2 minutes. Serve the pasta in bowls, passing the cheese at the table.
*Buccatini is a thicker, hollow, version of spaghetti. If you cannot find it, you could easily substitute regular spaghetti, but I wouldn't recommend angel hair, this is some hearty pasta.