Friday, May 17, 2013

Salami Pasta


This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe for small pasta with salami, which I first saw on her show, Nigella Kitchen. I love watching her cook because she clearly takes so much pleasure in preparing and eating everything that she makes. She also doesn't seem overly concerned with whether or not something is authentic or fancy - just whether or not it tastes good. That's just my style!

I was excited to try this recipe because it looked easy and tasty. It's also a nice way to use up sliced salami, which we often have on hand and sometimes end up tossing because it sits around too long. I love the addition of the beans in this recipe too. I never would have thought to add them, but they taste great with the salami and they add great texture and protein to the dish. While the dish takes a bit of time to cook because I like leaving the sauce to simmer for a while (though you don't necessarily need to simmer it as long if you don't want to), the dish is very simple to throw together. This one's a definite keeper!


Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 15-20 slices of hot Genoa salami
  • 1-796 mL can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-540 mL can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of macaroni

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Cut the salami slices into quarters. When the oil is hot, add the salami pieces to the saucepan and cook for a minute or two, until it starts to crisp up a little. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the beans, the butter, and the bay leaf. Add salt and pepper as desired. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta in well-salted water until tender. Reserve a cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta to the pot.

Stir about 1/4 of a cup of the pasta water into the sauce. If the sauce still looks thick, add more pasta water as needed. The water helps loosen the sauce a bit, but at the same time, the starch in the water from the pasta helps to hold everything together.

The sauce may look a bit watery, but it does thicken up and usually by the time I mix the pasta and the sauce together, the pasta will have soaked up all of the liquid. If you're worried, though, you can allow the sauce to simmer a bit longer, or try removing some of the beans, mashing them, and adding them back to the sauce to help thicken it up.

Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Serve immediately.


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