Saturday, September 3, 2011

Under the Pocono Sun

One of the perks of my dad's garden is all the free tomatoes and basil I want. And I came home with bags full from my last trip. Question is, what to make?

Several years ago I read the book Under the Tuscan Sun. The book has two chapters of recipes: Summer Kitchen Notes and Winter Kitchen Notes. This recipe is from this novel -- altered a bit, but of course.

It's just perfect for this time of year, when tomatoes are in abundance. There's no better time to make the most of summer's bounty. After all, there's a long winter season to make sauce with canned tomatoes.

Quick Tomato-Cream Sauce

From the novel Under the Tuscan Sun
Serves 4

  • 1 14.5 oz. box of rotini or short-cut fusilli
  • 4 or 5 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 14.5-15 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Lots and lots of fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Cook pancetta, drain on paper towel, and set aside.
  3. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add bell pepper and tomatoes. Season with thyme, oregano, and basil, and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Add red wine, and reduce by half.
  6. Stir in light cream and crushed tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes more.
  7. Stir cooked pancetta into the sauce at the last minute to retain its crispness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in cooked pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan and crusty bread on the side.

Note: Simply omit the pancetta for a vegetarian version of this delicious dish.

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