Those Italians. Just when you think you’ve tasted their heady, gourmet best—pillowy gnocchi dusted with Parmesan and nestled in sweet, roasted tomato sauce, or rich, wine-laced pasta bolognese shot through with tomato and striped with meltingly tender bits of pancetta—they go and throw something even better at you.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that the dish I fell for last week has a name like "Spaghetti with Fantasy Sauce." Who wouldn't want to taste that?
At first glance, it sounds alluring but too flashy, like some tanned, rakish, motorcycle-riding Italian named Giancarlo whom you know you should resist. It’s not sedate or sophisticated, but you give in, wanting a whirlwind romance, and you are rewarded.
It should be stated that, in addition to wine and sex and sports cars, Italians also excel in truly indulgent pasta. Here, you add wine and bacon and cream and butter to your sauce. It is worth it. You will go back for seconds.
The original recipe comes from the back of the De Cecco pasta box, and I’ve tightened it up to suit my tastes (leaving out a few ingredients and upping others). In searching for this recipe, I bookmarked at least three more dishes to share with you this summer. Each one is simple, flavorful, and perfect for warm-weather dinners. A glass of wine, an outdoor picnic table, a warm summer breeze, and you’ll be all set.