Cooking with Spaff #1 Page Two

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You're going to need all this stuff:

- 1 Lb. Bucatini
aka perciatelli. But really, use whatever pasta you like. I’m also fond of rigatoni or penne rigate in this dish.

- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Don’t you dare get anything less than extra virgin. The other stuff has its place… just not here.

- 1 Tbsp. Butter

- 1/3 C. Dried Porcini Mushrooms There is absolutely no substitute for dried porcinis. Which isn’t to say that this wouldn’t be good with some other fresh mushroom, but it wouldn’t be the same.

- 1/4 C. Diced Carrot

- 1/4 C. Diced Celery

- 1/4 C. Diced Onion

- 1 28 Oz. Can of Whole Peeled Italian Tomatoes
Italian meaning plum or roma tomatoes. If you can find ‘em, try to get San Marzano tomatoes. They rock. Merysa is my favorite brand, but hard to find. There are people who will try to tell you that the only way to cook pasta is with fresh tomatoes. These people don’t know what they’re talking about. We like to laugh at them trying to sound all hoity toity. Truth is, both fresh and canned tomatoes have their own unique flavor, and both are great in their own ways.

- Pinch of Dried Red Pepper Flakes

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Spaff poses with all the recently purchased Ingredients

- 1/4 Lb. Pancetta, cut to 1/4 inch strips
n. pn-cht - Italian bacon that has been cured in salt and spices and then air-dried. Bad pancetta is awful. Good pancetta is heavenly and one of the cornerstones of Italian trattoria cuisine. Usually, you’re only going to find the good stuff at a good Italian grocery. 80% of the idea with pancetta is to flavor your oil with tasty pork fat when you saute it. Lean pancetta is an unholy creation and should be avoided like the black death. If you can’t find good pancetta, pull a little Italian sausage out of the casing and use that. Or forget the meat altogether. It’s all good.

- 2 Tbsp. Heavy Cream

- Salt to taste

- 1/4 C. Grated Pecorino
Contrary to popular belief, Romano is not a cheese. What most people call Romano is actually Pecorino Romano, or Roman Pecorino, which is generally considered the best type of pecorino by the rest of world, if not the rest of Italy, as every Italian town truly believes… no, KNOWS… that their pecorino is actually the best in the world and Pecorino Romano is grossly overrated.

On with the Recipe...

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