Friday, September 26, 2014

Lucky Number Seven

Steve and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary earlier this month - can you believe it! Our anniversary is smack-dab in the middle of Steve's fall busy season so we never do anything too over the top, but we did have a special evening and we also enjoyed a date night that next weekend.

Steve brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and I supplied a bottle of champagne and the treat of one of his all-time favorite dinners from our early years of marriage. I haven't made this dish in years but this was the perfect dish for a special evening. We ended the night with a dish of gelato, as a nod to our Italian honeymoon. Happy anniversary, Sweetheart!



When we first got married, I bought a few "cooking for two" cookbooks that provide smaller portions. This recipe, and several other early favorites, came from these books and I still make them today and just double the recipes to feed our family!

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes, Pancetta, and Smoked Mozzarella

Serves 2

3 TBS olive oil
2 oz pancetta, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, slivered
4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, shredded
6 oz dried spaghetti, cooked
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into very small cubes

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the olive oil, and add pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes or until crispy, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for just 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 7 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and made a sauce.

2. Stir in the shredded basil, immediately raise the heat to medium-high, and cook uncovered for 1 minute, until the basil wilts and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in the cooked spaghetti, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cheese. Cover the pan and let it stand at room temperature for 5 minutes so that the cheese melts. Toss, then serve.

- recipe from Cooking for Two: 120 Recipes for Every Day and Those Special Nights, by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

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