Wednesday, July 16, 2008


yields 4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 small rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped (or 1 pound chopped fresh tomatoes plus a 14-ounce can), with juices
2 cups chicken stock or water
About 6 large basil leaves, plus extra torn leaves for garnish
About 10 large sprigs Italian parsley
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces bacon, diced
12 ounces cavatelli, conchiglie, or other curly pasta
10 ounces fresh, shelled or frozen green peas
1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup fresh ricotta, at room temperature.

Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery and onion, and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Lower heat to prevent browning. Add garlic and fresh tomatoes, if using. Stir and heat through. Add basil, parsley, wine, canned tomatoes and 2 cups water. Simmer until liquid reduces to a thick broth, about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve, discard sieve contents, and season broth with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook bacon in skillet over very low heat until crisped and fat is rendered. Drain off extra fat. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and stir. Boil until just tender. Over low heat, add tomato broth to bacon in skillet. Add peas and heat through while pasta cooks. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add tomato broth and pecorino Romano cheese and toss well over low heat. Transfer to serving bowls. Dollop ricotta on top, sprinkle with basil, and serve immediately.

courtesy of: The New York Times, May 28, 2008

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