Wouldn't life be easy if every night were pasta night? I mean, I wouldn't mind breaking up the routine with may be an enchilada night. I could definitely go for a pulled pork night on a more than regular basis. And I could throw in a Pie night every now and then. A night of Breakfast for Dinner would be fun. A naughty dinner of ice cream and snack food could be a night of blissful indulgence at the end of a hard day. Oh, and a meal of Chinese food is a must around here. And the boys would never let me forget it if we didn't have a burger night. And meatballs, can't leave out a meatball night. And a rib night, because we really need a pure man-food night seeing as how three quarters of the population in this house is male. And to make sure we are getting a balanced diet, it would only be right to have a vegetarian night. And, oh yes, a chilli night for those chilly nights. But I could definitely eat pasta the rest of the time.
from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
2 x 400g Italian cherry tomatoes with their liquid
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled
Crushed chilli flakes
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce, if you like
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing if you like
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into the bowl of a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped. (Longer processing will aerate the tomatoes, turning them pink.)
Stir the rigatoni into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Lower the work bowl with the tomatoes close to the skillet and carefully — they will splatter — slide the tomatoes into the pan. Bring to a boil, season lightly with salt and generously with crushed red pepper, and boil 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
Just before the pasta is done, fish the garlic cloves out of the sauce and pour in the cream. Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet. If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and red pepper if necessary. Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta and boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.
Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese over the pasta, and toss to mix. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if you like.