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Another Kitchen Sink Dinner

By Lori Powell

Yes, yet another kitchen sink dinner using ingredients that are always in my pantry: oil, bacon (you can keep it frozen and then chip off what you need), dried herbs and spices (keep them fresh by buying small quantities and replace after four months), garlic, Parmesan, and some form of tomato product and pasta.

I happened to have fresh basil on hand, so that just helped seal the deal of what to cook for dinner. Also, it was Monday (and a long one at that) so I just wanted something quick.

I love this pasta sauce and will serve it up with or without pasta. It’s especially great with sweet shellfish when you can get the good stuff. Add a squeeze of lemon to make it sing even further.

April is a bit of an odd month, produce-wise, since we are just starting to get hits of the fresh bounty of spring, such as asparagus, fiddlehead ferns (though they haven’t shown up in Pennsylvania yet), and not much else at the moment. Week to week, things will start popping out of the ground, so the excitement of fresh begins, after what was a rather trying winter…you’ll understand if you have been privy to my prior blog posts.

Since all is new in my life at the moment – new house (rental), new job and now a new season – I am looking to redo a bunch of things and, well… clean my own personal house. I have started yoga, Weight Watchers (needed a little jolt of reality after the long winter) and with a couple more pounds off, I am looking forward to a new season, and a new me.

I will be offering much more to do with fruits and veggies in my recipes and from the garden. Here’s to a new us!

Tagliarelle All’ Amatriciana
Serves 1 or 2

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 slice bacon, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small bay leaf
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 ounces tagliarelle pasta or linguine
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat in a medium heavy skillet. Cook bacon until golden brown and slightly crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat from skillet.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat and cook shallot with oregano, pepper flakes and bay leaf, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Pour in wine and simmer until reduced by about half, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Keep sauce warm, covered.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water, until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss into sauce with half the basil and Parmesan.

Serve immediately with remaining basil and Parmesan.

NOTE: add cooked shrimp or lobster for an extra boost of protein, flavor and color.

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