Canadian Bacon and Mozzarella Penne
- SERVINGS: 4
Hot red-pepper flakes offer a pleasant contrast to mild mozzarella and salty Canadian bacon. To turn this into a satisfying vegetarian pasta, just leave out the bacon.
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Dried red-pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 15-ounce can)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 pound penne
- 1/2 pound Canadian bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, and the parsley.
- In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderately low heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of red- pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce, mozzarella mixture, and Canadian bacon. If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta-cooking water.
A crisp red based on the barbera grape will be heavenly with this spicy, tomatoey sauce.