Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Who and the Whatsit?

We've been home from France for a week and a half now, and I've been sick the whole time. Charlie caught it (not as bad as me), and it was only yesterday that we both felt well enough to get dressed and leave the house--him to school, and me to the supermarket. Prior to that, we (and by "we," I mostly mean Matt) have been throwing meals together with what's available in the house. It's been a vegetable-free existence.

Anyway, on Sunday, I told Matt that we had all the ingredients for Rigatoni con Guanciale e Cipolla (pg 101 of Rome). He'd cooked the recipe earlier in September, the night we got home from Tropea. I'd mentally flagged it prior to our trip, because it specifically calls for Tropean red onions. Let me tell you, Tropeans are very proud of their onions. They even use them to flavor ice cream.
If a torrential thunderstorm didn't chase us back to our car after lunch, I definitely would have tried some.
Anyway, we stopped at a roadside stand to buy a bag of onions on our way back to Naples. Know what Tropean red onions taste like? Red onions. Somewhat milder, but it's really not that big of a difference. (Sorry, Tropeans. No offense.) Matt says he thinks it's like a mix between a red onion and a shallot. I don't really know what that means. Point is, you could totally make this with normal red onions, and it would be just fine.
I accidentally deleted my pic of the food, so here's one of Tropea instead.
I haven't personally made this, but Matt has now made it twice. He does it fairly quickly (within a half hour), so it must not be too complicated.

The onions are wilted with a good amount of white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and salt, then set aside. Crisp pancetta, then add the onion glop, and set aside. Add cooked pasta, then a pile of pecorino romano, and what you've got is a delicious salty, sour, sweet bowl of carbohydrate goodness. It's addictive.

Why is a recipe that calls for Tropean onions present in a book of Roman recipes? I have no idea. Tropea is a solid seven hours south of Rome, and I've never seen their onions in Naples. Maybe Rome has a Tropean onion pipeline.

Conclusion: Love it. I've eaten more than my fair share each time Matt's made this, and both times, I wanted more.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that you and Charlie haven't been well - glad to hear that it is slowly passing. This pasta sounds delish!