This is a 100% foolproof dish. It is the only thing I managed to teach two of my culinarily inept ex-boyfriends how to cook (despite one believing tough steak just needed more cooking, and the other taking five attempts to grasp the ‘you don’t just throw everything in the pot and wait’ approach to cooking. It is also one of about five dishes in my brother’s repertoire. It is kind of like an amatriciana. It was one of the few recipes that my entire family liked when we were kids so it was pretty much part of my staple diet. I particularly like it with tagliatelle, but in this instance used penne which works very well too. This is really just a template recipe, you can throw in whatever you like (in my case often peas, and creme fraiche)
- 2x400g tinned tomatoes
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 75g pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- olive oil
- 400g pasta
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Saute the pancetta and onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
- Add the balsamic vinegar and wine.
- Reduce to a syrup.
- Add the tomatoes
- Add the sugar and season.
- Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour over a medium-low heat until nicely thick and reduced.
- Serve with parmesan cheese (optional).