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Recipes: Casa Roma

Y’all this recipe is one of the few good things to come out of quarantine. Most of the recipes I’ve posted on here have been ones I’ve picked up elsewhere, but this one is an original. Early in the days of our everlasting stay-at-home order, my spouse and I were having fun experimenting with some new recipes, and one day, he wanted to freestyle it. This is the result, and it is no joke my favorite pasta recipe ever. (And that’s coming from someone who freaking loves pasta.)

The name is an homage to it being a sort of Italian-inspired meal, a house recipe, and the Roma tomatoes that become the key to its success. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. (1 box) linguine (as always, you can use other shapes, but this complements the sauce best)
  • 1.5–2 cups finely diced onion (recommend white or yellow onion)
  • 2 finely diced Roma tomatoes
  • 5ish garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5oz. pancetta (or more if you want! Small pancetta works best for it to get crunchy)
  • 1 cup dry white wine (Pro tip: Pick something you also enjoy drinking since you’ll still have most of the bottle left!)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Olive oil
  • 4tbsp. butter
  • Salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes
  • At least 1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil (technically this is optional, but honestly it shouldn’t be — I recommend ~2tbsp. per serving)IMG-2348

Instructions:

  1. Chop onion and tomato (I usually cut the basil while the sauce is finishing up, but you can do it here as well).IMG-2350
  2. Cook pancetta in olive oil (this can get smoky, so use that above-stove fan if you have it!)
  3. Drain the oil out of the pancetta.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  5. Add in onion, then the pancetta, garlic, and spices (amount of seasoning is up to you, but I’d again recommend not skimping on the red chili pepper flakes to bring in some complexity).IMG-2346
  6. Start boiling the water.
  7. Once the onions are cooked — they should be translucent and giving off a nice aroma — add in the cup of wine (and pour a glass for yourself if you haven’t already).
  8. Add pasta into pot of boiling water.
  9. Simmer until the wine reduces by about half, then add in 1/3 cup heavy cream and diced tomatoes. (Pro tip: This step needs to cook for ~5 minutes to help the tomatoes break down and bring out their sweetness.)IMG-2352
  10. Drain pasta, but reserve a small amount of pasta water. This is for adding into your sauce to help it stick to the pasta. We usually use just a splash, sometimes more if the sauce is runny.
  11. Take the sauce off the heat and mix in about 1/3 cup of cheese, then mix in the pasta.
  12. Add in basil, and top with more cheese as desired.
  13. Serve and enjoy!IMG-2354

Costs about $20, makes makes 4–5 servings.

Heads up that the cost estimate is super rough since we typically have a lot of the ingredients on hand and the basil is always from my garden. Also note that I typically use wine that’s $3–$10 per bottle — you really don’t need anything expensive for cooking (like, ever) and Trader Joe’s has some delicious cheap options.

Just like the amatriciana recipe, this goes excellently with homemade sourdough. (You may notice a lot of ingredients and steps overlap between the two pasta recipes, but their flavor profiles end up totally different.)

What other recipes or topics would you like to see on the blog? Let me know in a comment below or on Twitter @ohgrowup! Thanks for reading, and happy adulting!

P.S. If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it!

Featured

Recipes: Amatriciana

Welcome to your new favorite tomato sauce. Now that I finally remembered to take pictures, I have a new recipe for y’all! This is a slightly personalized version of a classic amatriciana, aka hearty pasta deliciousness.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. (1 box) fettucine (the wide noodles are ideal for the sauce, but you could use any noodle if you feel strongly. Except angel hair because that’s objectively the worst pasta shape.)
  • 5oz. pancetta
  • 1.5–2 cups finely diced onion (recommend white or yellow onion)
  • 5–8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes
  • At least 1/2 cup fresh-grated Romano cheese
  • At least 3/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Chop onion.
  2. Cook pancetta in olive oil (~2tbsp. should be plenty). Note that this can get smoky, so use an above-stove fan if you have it!IMG-2323
  3. Drain some of the oil out of the pancetta (don’t drain it all! You’ll want it to meld the flavors for the next step).
  4. Move into a large saucepan, and add the onion, garlic, and spices (you may want to add a little more olive oil here as well). Pro tip: The amount of spices you use is a matter of taste, but I recommend not skimping on the red chili pepper flakes; they bring a needed complexity and a hint of heat to the final sauce.IMG-2326
  5. Cook until onions are translucent, then add crushed tomatoes.IMG-2328
  6. In a large pot, start boiling water for pasta.
  7. Simmer the sauce for 20ish minutes, stirring occasionally (if you neglect the stirring, it will bubble and get tomato all around your stove area…)IMG-2330
  8. Once water is boiling, cook the pasta.
  9. Drain the pasta, but reserve a small amount of pasta water. This is for adding into your sauce to help it stick to the pasta. We usually use just a splash, sometimes up to 1/4 cup if the sauce is runny.
  10. Take the sauce off the heat and mix in about 1/4 cup of cheese, then stir in the pasta. (The extra cheese is to top it off.)
  11. Serve and enjoy!IMG-2332

Costs about $10, makes 4–5 servings.

Note that this recipe goes exceptionally well with a slice of fresh sourdough! This is a pretty straightforward recipe, and doesn’t take too long. My significant other and I love cooking it together, but it’s also simple enough that one could totally handle it solo. 

What other recipes would you like to see? Let me know in a comment below or on Twitter @ohgrowup! Thanks for reading, and happy adulting!