Chef Rachael Grossman of Artigiano in Portland produces a flawless version of this Italian pasta classic, which uses a slow-simmered tomato sauce infused with lots of bacon.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 12 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4" strips
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig sage
- 2 tbsp. red wine
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 1 lb. dried spaghetti
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
- Finely grated pecorino, to garnish
- Thinly sliced parsley, to garnish
- Heat bacon in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat, and cook until its fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; set aside. Add butter to pan, and then add carrots and onion; season with salt, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add half the garlic and rosemary and sage, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 2 hours. Remove and discard rosemary and sage, and transfer sauce to a blender; puree and then return to pan. Stir in 3⁄4 of the reserved bacon, along with remaining garlic and oil, pepper, and chile flakes; keep warm.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add spaghetti; cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and add to pan with sauce; toss to coat. Divide pasta and sauce among serving bowls and garnish each bowl with remaining reserved bacon, pecorino, and parsley.