There was a tiny Italian restaurant about 3 blocks from our apartment in NYC called Pasta Fina. Their menu said "Welcome to Pasta Fina, with your host Uncle Louie." Uncle Louie was an ancient Italian man who was in the restaurant every single time we ate there. He answered the phone every single time I called for takeout or delivery. Eventually, he recognized my voice and would say "Oh! Jen! You need the Matriciana sauce? It will be sooooo good on this cold night! I send you free garlic rolls."
The first time Marcus ordered this dish, I was kind of grossed out by it. I didn't think bacon belonged on pasta. Boy, was I wrong. And boy, was Uncle Louie right. It's great on a cold night, or a warm night, or really any old night. We ate this at least once every couple of weeks the first few months after we were married. Then we went away for the summer to work. When we returned in August, I was 19 weeks pregnant and craving Matriciana sauce like nobody's business. Our very first night back in town, we decided to go for a stroll through the neighborhood, then end our evening with dinner at Uncle Louie's. Imagine the horror we felt as we rounded the corner, expecting to see the traditional red, white and green Pasta Fina sign, but instead, spotting a giant, black shiny sign boasting a BRAND NEW Argentinian steakhouse! Nooooooooooooo! I think there were tears involved. We ran in, demanding to know where Uncle Louie was, and were greeted by a man who explained that Uncle Louie had decided to retire, but had sold most of his recipes to them, so they could probably serve us whatever we'd like from the old menu. But it wasn't the same. Just another thing I love that someone discontinued, like Revlon "Wine With Everything" lipstick, Bath and Body Works White Tea and Ginger-scented products and a prefect shade of OPI nail polish whose name it's too painful to recall.
Marcus and I toyed around and used this recipe to make our own Matriciana sauce last night. It wasn't as good as Uncle Louie's, but it was tasty nonetheless. Give it a try...I think you'll like it.
UNHEALTHY ALERT! This has bacon in it. Lots of bacon. And you should top it with a lot of cheese. Just thought I should add that because I KNOW it's totally bad for you and I will probably have to do the Shred twice tonight to make up for eating all this bacon. But MAN is it good!
6-8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces 1 cup chopped white onion 1 can diced tomatoes with juice (don't drain!) 1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes with green chills with juice 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 2 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic,minced 4 servings of the pasta of your choice
6-8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped white onion
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (don't drain!)
1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes with green chills with juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic,minced
4 servings of the pasta of your choice
Cook pasta according to package directions. Fry bacon until just crisp. Remove from pan and drain out grease. Add onions to pan and fry until translucent (you want them to still be a bit crisp). Return bacon to pan and add tomatoes, seasoning, garlic and parsley. Simmer on low heat until heated through. Ladle sauce over hot pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
A few notes about this recipe:
*It could benefit from a dash or 3 of red wine. Just make sure you don't use more that about a tablespoon or it will overpower the rest of the sauce. If you add wine, cook the onions in it so the alcohol will burn off and it will chill out a bit before you finish building the sauce.
*You'll want to use a pasta that can handle a sturdy sauce. I recommend penne rigate or rigatoni. We had ours on linguine and the noodles just didn't go with the sauce. Your sauce will be very chunky and hearty, so make sure your pasta can stand up to it.
*If you have leftover sauce, spread it on a pita, cover it with cheese and throw it in the oven for one of the best quick pizzas ever.
This post was happily submitted to BACON FEST on Eat At Home. Check out all the tasty recipes with the internet's favorite food--Bacon!