A long time ago, I began what was supposed to be a recipe series. The reason I haven't shared anything since my first entry is that I don't usually measure ingredients when I cook - I just add stuff, taste it, add some more and so on. The reason I have this recipe to share is that I wanted to get a nutritional breakdown, calorie count, etc. In order to do that, I had to pay more attention to what I was adding and how much of it was going into the pot. Today's recipe is Amatriciana Sauce W/ Chopped Veggies.
This is a variation on Italian amatriciana sauce - I substituted bacon for the pancetta and added some fresh veggies. Authentic amatriciana is pretty hot and is simpler than this as it leaves out the veggies and some of the non-pepper seasonings. Be forewarned - the recipe below is a bit hot. The seasonings can be varied according to taste, and 1/3 cup of wine can be substituted for some of the water (if you use cooking wine, omit the salt). Also, fresh Roma tomatoes could be chopped and substituted for the canned tomato sauce to cut down the sodium.
We'll start with the ingredients:
Hunt's Tomato Sauce - 1 15-oz. can
Hunt's Tomato Paste - 1 8-oz. can
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Celery - 1/2 cup, chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
Carrots - 1/2 cup, chopped
Water - 1 cup, or 2/3 cup water + 1/3 cup wine
Sugar - 2 tsp.
Bacon - 4 slices, chopped
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - 1 tsp.
Red Pepper - 2 tsp. (may substitute Tony Chachere's seasoning)
Oregano - 1 tsp.
Rosemary - 1 tbsp.
Thyme - 1 tsp.
Next, the procedure:
Add tomato sauce, paste, liquid and seasonings to crock pot and begin cooking on high.
Once the base sauce has started cooking, chop vegetables and bacon, and brown in saucepan until tender. Start with the bacon, then add veggies when fat has started melting. You may add one tablespoon of olive oil, if needed, to keep veggies from burning. When veggies and bacon are nicely browned add them to the sauce in the crock pot. Sauce may be cooked in crock pot 2-4 hours without burning.
Prepare pasta - rigatoni and rotini go nicely with this sauce. One minute before pasta has finished cooking, remove 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water and reserve. Drain pasta, then add pasta and reserved cooking water to sauce. Cook pasta for one more minute in the sauce, then serve.
Finally, nutritional data for those who are interested in such things:
Note: the nutritional calculation does not include the pasta.
Servings Per Recipe: 4 (calculated at 1 cup per serving - this is quite a lot, so you may want to decrease the amount according to your taste)
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 5.4 mg
Sodium: 1,869.2 mg
Total Carbs: 30.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.9 g
Protein: 7.3 g
If you like Italian food, you may enjoy playing with this recipe and adapting it to your tastes and needs.