Pasta a la panikera

I don’t use commercial pasta sauce. I like making my pasta sauce from scratch. There are times though when it’s tempting to just stack up on jars of pasta sauce. They seem so convenient. Earlier today, I was in such a rush to cook lunch and I thought, “If I had a jar of pasta sauce, all I would have to do is cook the pasta and pour the sauce over it.” It would be going against the grain, so to speak, since I like fresh ingredients in my pasta sauce. Anyway, it was a fleeting thought. I do get weird thoughts when I’m in “panic mode”. I managed to cook a complete pasta meal from scratch in less than 30 minutes and the result reaffirmed my belief that commercial sauce will never ever replace homemade sauce. pasta and bacon, served with toasted day-old bread

The pasta in the photo was made with lean bacon, chopped onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, tomato paste and cheese. I served the pasta with day-old bread which I toasted with butter in the frying pan–faster than waiting for the oven to heat up. The few slices of day-old white bread were the only bread in the house–my husband forgot to buy, duh!

Ingredients :

200 g. of pasta (macaroni, penne, ziti)
200 g. of lean bacon
1 large white onion
1 large green bell pepper
4 plump, juicy tomatoes
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsps. of tomato paste
2 c. of meat broth (recipe)
4-6 tbsps. of olive oil
4-6 slices of quickmelt cheese
salt, pepper and sugar to taste
grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Cooking procedure :

Boil the pasta according to package directions, undercooking it by about 3 minutes (allowing it to finish cooking in the sauce gives it better flavor). Drain, dousing with cold water. Set aside.

While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.

Peel and coarsely chop the onion. Core the bell peppers, remove the seeds, then coarsely chop. Coarsely chop the tomatoes as well. A tip: if you’re serving the pasta to kids who hate vegetables, it would be better to finely chop everything. When the vegetables liquefy, they will no longer be visible. My kids enjoy their vegetables so I only coarsely chop them. The cooked pasta dish looks more appetizing with the variety of colors and textures.

Finely slice the bacon.

Snip the basil leaves (use kitchen shears) into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the bacon and cook until opaque. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, for abour two minutes. Pour in the meat broth. Stir in the tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Throw in the basil leaves. Bring to a soft boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Uncover the sauce pan and add the slices of quickmelt cheese. Stir gently until the cheese melts. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well. Cover, turn off the heat and leave for about 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb all the liquid that it can.

Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve with buttered toast on the side.

[tags]pasta+recipe, easy+recipes, recipe+blog, cooking, cooking+blog, Food+and+drink, Filipino+food, Philippines, pinoy+cooking[/tags]

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