I love libraries, I borrow books all the time, even cookbooks. It's my way of try-before-you-buy. Try the recipes in the books first before I buy the book. It is a bit hard when you only have three weeks before you need to return the book, but my library allows me to renew the loan once, so I can actually have the books for six weeks.
The latest book I borrowed was this amazing cookbook by Antonio Carluccio called 100 Pasta Recipes. Eventhough Antonio is one of the greatest Italian cooks of all time, the recipes in this book are not pretentious, some are even very easy to do. I have tried three easy recipes so far, and I have added all three of them to my weekdays meal repertoire.
Today's recipe originated from a farming town called Amatrice in Italy. I love it for the smokiness of the prosciutto, its bright red colour from the capsicum and tomatoes, and the hint of sweetness from the onions.
Amatrice style thin spaghetti
Adapted from Antonio Carluccio's 100 Pasta Recipes
Serves 2 big meals or 3 medium meals
- a half of a big capsicum, finely chopped
- a half of a big onion, finely chopped
- a can (450g) of finely chopped tomatoes (I'm a fan of the ardmona brand)
- freshly grated pecorino
- 150g of prosciutto (or pancetta, whichever's more convenient)
- 370g thin spaghetti (or bucatini, if you have them)
- I'm a fan of one pot cooking. I know it's probably not the authentic way of cooking pasta, but I cook my pasta in the same frying pan which I would later use to cook the sauce. Hey, the less washing up for me, the better.
- Cook the pasta until al-dente, drain, toss some extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
- Use the same frying pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the prosciutto, onion and capsicum until brown.
- Add the can of tomatoes, cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, to let all the ingredients mingle together.
- Add the pasta to the glorious prosciutto-onion-capsicum-tomatoes sauce and toss.
- Serve with the grated pecorino.