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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Linguine alla matriciana with zucchini

The pasta alla matriciana is a lovely Italian combination of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, herbs and bacon. Adding braised zucchini only makes it more springy. A lovely explosion of forms and tastes, spectacularly creamy considering its lightness. Enjoy.
We had it while watching Little Nicky - I had forgotten about it but it's so funny it should never get old :).
Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 200 g linguine (can be replaced with spaghetti, but this sauce coats the linguine better and they slide wonderfully)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large zucchini (400 g)
  • 400 g can of peeled tomatoes
  • 100 g bacon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Chop the zucchini into thick slices, then quarter each of them:

Cut the bacon slices in half, heat the oil in a large pan and fry them:

Thinly slice the garlic clove:

When the bacon is crispy, add the zucchini chunks to it:

Stir, making sure the zucchini touches the pan's surface directly so it can roast and putting the browned bacon on top of the zucchini pieces so the bacon doesn't get burned. Stir and let the zucchini roast for 4-5 minutes until it looks like this (on both sides):

Also add the garlic at this point, stir for half a minute, then add the tomato pulp:

Add the chili powder, salt and pepper and mix. Turn the heat up and let it cook for about 10 minutes until it looks like this (the sauce being reduced a bit):

Meanwhile boil the linguine according to package instructions. Don't break them to fit the boiling pot, just put them like this and after a minute or so they'll soften up enough so you can push them in the pot:

When the sauce is done (after 10 minutes since adding tomatoes) remove from heat. When the pasta is done drain it well and add it to the sauce:

Mix well to coat everything in sauce. Careful not to break the pasta.

Arrange on serving plates and dig in! :)

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