Inspired by many recipes for sugo all'amatriciana I now wing it for this simple and quick dinner. Not sure what dirt cheap means any longer, but in this recipe it means that I got a great deal on a case of San Marzano Tomatoes, I used the rind from a chunk of cheese, pancetta scraps and maybe a half hour invested in total preparation and the recipe serves 8 or more for a first course, the primo. In my case, my contribution to a very last minute gathering.
Check with your super market deli section for pancetta/or prosciutto ends, some will sell them for pennies if you ask.
1/2- 1 pounds
fresh yellow and red grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
14 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained, juice reserved. Use 28 ounces if you don't have fresh tomatoes
whole hot pepper or chili flakes
slices of pancetta, diced
splash of red wine, because it was sitting there
Vidalia onion, diced
lots of freshly grated Pecorino Romano
red pepper flakes or coarsely ground red pepper flakes
halved grape tomatoes and 2 campari tomatoes large diced
Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet large enough to hold the pound of pasta in the end. Saute the diced pancetta until crisp and toss in the diced onion and whole pepper or red pepper flakes. Saute for 2-3 minutes being careful not to brown the onions. Add a splash of red wine, fresh tomatoes, and squished canned tomatoes, some of the reserved tomato juice. Medium low to low simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is thickened to your liking.
Toss in the cooked and drained pasta and turn into the sauce, serve in warmed bowls with lots of grated cheese and pepper flakes.
Notes for the sauce: In the summer use 8-10 fresh plum tomatoes and cut back on the simmering time.