Yesterday’s damp and rainy weather kept me from spending time in the garden as I had planned, so instead I decided to clean out and reorganize the freezer. I have a bad habit of cramming stuff in there and just letting it go until the door barely stays closed, and also of forgetting what we’ve got in there in the first place, so as I went through, I took inventory.
It’s fun to find little gems lurking in the deepest recesses of the freezer. When I discovered that I had one bag of basic tomato sauce left over from my final batch of last summer I knew immediately that I wanted to do something with it, so I pulled that out along with a package of pancetta (pretty much a freezer staple in our home) and decided to make Bucatini All’Amatriciana.
I basically used Mario Batali’s recipe for the version served at Babbo, though I had to substitute two large shallots for the red onion. It’s a great dish, a little sweet, a little spicy, with a rich porky flavor that’s really satisfying – what a way to transform odds and ends and pantry staples into something delicious.
Wine Pairing: The lovely and charming Dan at Uva Wines recommended the 2004 Villa Malacari Rosso Conero, a Montepulciano with deep, rich fruit and spice notes. As always, he picked us a winner.