Life has rules. Some rules are important; like the one about not killing each other. Others are really, really important.
Like the one that says the toilet paper should pull from the top, not the bottom.
Like the one that says that if the gas light comes on while you’re driving the car, you fill it up. It doesn’t get parked in the garage as a ‘surprise’ for your spouse.
Like the one that says that the only place we should see guys wearing Speedos is at the Olympics.
Like the one that says that under the chair, couch and table are not the correct places to put the booger you just took out of your nose.
Like the one that says picking your nose is downright gross.
And, as I learned as I was making this dish from both Hubby and Dudette, spaghetti (basketti) should only be made the normal way.
At the beginning of the month, I made Saveur’s Rigatoni in Tomato Sauce. Since that sauce turned out to be one the best I’ve had, I was pretty such that this would do the same since it used the same method and ingredients for the base.
I love the addition of carrots in tomato sauce. It acts as an amazing thickener, gives gorgeous color, adds vitamins (especially since I didn’t even bother to peel it) and Dudette was clueless to the fact that she was eating them.
I did find that my sauce had thickened considerably after only an hour and a half so I didn’t need the full two hours the recipe suggests. You might want to keep an eye on your pot after the first hour has passed.
I also didn’t remove the sage or rosemary leaves, just the twig from the rosemary. They got pureed in the sauce and added more deliciousness.
Because of having a child in the house, I only added a half teaspoon of the chile flakes.
I let Hubby taste the spoon that I used to get the sauce from the blender back to the pot and he was immediately concerned because he said all he could taste was tomato. Needless to say, he was concerned. When Dudette saw me plating up what was obviously not my ‘normal’ basketti, she was unhappy, not even being placated by the fact that there’s a lot of bacon in this version.
Then they tasted it and all talking ceased. Serious eating commenced.
The half teaspoon still carried enough heat that it was noticable but Dudette still finished every bite. She loved it. Hubby loved it. I loved it. It’s absolutely delicious. The tomato sauce is so, so rich. Adding bacon to it is like winning the lottery and then Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes on top of that.
This is why sometimes, just sometimes, it’s ok to break those really, really important rules.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
- 12 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ¼” strips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig sage
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1 (28-oz). can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
- 1 lb. dried spaghetti
- Finely grated pecorino, to garnish
- Thinly sliced parsley, to garnish
- Heat bacon in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat, and cook until its fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; set aside. Add butter to pan, and then add carrots and onion; season with salt, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add half the garlic and rosemary and sage, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 2 hours.
- Remove and discard rosemary and sage, and transfer sauce to a blender; puree and then return to pan. Stir in ¾ of the reserved bacon, along with remaining garlic and oil, pepper, and chile flakes; keep warm.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add spaghetti; cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and add to pan with sauce; toss to coat. Divide pasta and sauce among serving bowls and garnish each bowl with remaining reserved bacon, pecorino, and parsley.
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