Growing up, when mom and dad would get dressed up on a Friday night, they’d leave us behind with a babysitter, a box of fusilli and a jar of Prego. I couldn’t have been happier because, as most of you know by now, pasta is my favorite food (next to dessert). Chicken or the egg-wise, it is possible that it is my favorite food because I grew up eating it; if mom had left us behind with a can of Spam and a pair of pliers, maybe I’d be gorging on canned meat to pep myself up. As it stands, though, when I’m down in the dumps, nothing puts a smile on my face like a big bowl of fusilli with a meaty tomato sauce. Here’s one I whipped up this weekend using some smoky bacon I had leftover.
There it was, in the pan, ready to eat. A big panful of fusilli, coated in a sauce I’d improvised with bacon, red chile flakes, tomato paste and a can of tomatoes. I’d let the sauce cook down until it was nice and thick and then boiled the fusilli until just al dente, lifting it with a spider into the pan of red sauce. I stirred it all around, ready to grate on a traditional cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino, when I had a vision.