Friday, February 8, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Pasta e Patate - Pasta and Potatoes

Those were three very nice recipes for Valentine's Day.
But we're still in the middle of winter.
And sometimes nothing hits the spot like a big plate of carbs.

In Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook, Junior's chapter, The Soprano Family Tradition, is my go to chapter for memory meals.
When a family is right off the boat there are so many things that have to be bought.
Clothes, bedding, furniture, utensils…
I mean, you can only pack so much.
What you might have had in the old country has to be replaced.

Whether the first home is a walk-up tenement flat or a fixer upper, folks get hungry.
Pasta e Patate - Pasta and Potatoes - whatever you call it, hits the spot.
For extra fibre, don't peel the potatoes.
Pancetta, bacon, sausages - or no meat at all - it's all good.

                        Pasta e Patate

Serves 6

2 thick slices pancetta or 4 slices bacon
1 small carrot, peeled
1 small celery rib
1 medium onion

Pour into a dutch oven
2 Tablespoons olive oil
the chopped meat and vegetables
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (1 Tablespoon dried)
Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds red (boiling) potatoes, peeled and diced
6 Cups water
Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
12 ounces small elbow macaroni or other small pasta
2 Cups boiling water
Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender.
If needed, add more water.
Stir in
1/2 Cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Serve immediately.

Would I make Pasta e Patate again?
Of course.
It's still winter in Manitoba.
And I never was a fan of the no-carb diets.

One recipe down.  Forty-four more to go.

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