This is a very quick and easy dish with a lovely piquant tomato sauce.
In a large frying pan, cook off some pancetta, then in the same pan soften a finely chopped onion and red pepper.
When the pancetta, onions and pepper are nearly cooked, add a good splash of balsamic vinegar, then as this boils add a blended tin of tomatoes (or you could use passata if you want to). Add some tomato puree and sliced mushrooms. Leave to simmer for at least twenty minutes and preferably a little longer. Towards the end add some chopped fresh parsley.
When you are nearly ready to eat, cook the pasta. With a tomato sauce I much prefer to use a dried pasta (and use fresh pasta with a cream based sauce). With this recipe I used De Cecco Fusilli.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss the pasta in the sauce.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan and ground black pepper.
If you like to you could add some black olives or anchovies to the sauce, I prefer not to due to the saltiness of these ingredients.
Last night I decided to cook a risotto to go with the shellfish I was cooking. I have done this in the past usually using white wine, lemon, rocket and parmesan to flavour the risotto. Alas I had no white wine, no lemon and no rocket, though I did have a block of parmesan to hand. Little piece of advice here, never buy pre-grated parmesan this is usually grated from dried out pieces of old parmesan or so an old Italian friend of mine once said. Though as it is usually cheaper than the solid stuff I am inclined to believe her! So there I was cooking this risotto and wondering how I should flavour it. Well I had mushrooms and they always work well in risotto, I had some red wine, and I had some chicken stock. There we go, good to go, or so I thought.
Basically it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped. Firstly it came out a grey lilac colour rather than the rich red brown I was expecting. Well that was down to the red wine, lack of dark stock and the mushrooms. Secondly it was rather bland, it had no bite. I think it could have done with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Most of it was eaten so either we were hungry or it wasn’t half as bad as it looked.
Having said that, the scallops wrapped in pancetta were delicious.