Boar Bacon Penne Amatriciana – A Sunday Night Savior

RecipeThis is sort of like a 40-minute family meal but instead, it’s a Sunday evening 40 minute solo "Daddy who has procrastinated all weekend and now has a deadline due tomorrow" morning meal.

Picture the scene: I’m hungry, on my own and really too busy to cook. Still, a man’s gotta eat and take-out isn’t that appealing. Then, in one of those beautiful serendipitous moments when spontaneity meets what’s left in the fridge, I came upon the few remaining rashers of the wild boar bacon I’d scored earlier in the week at the Farmer’s market.

Wild boar bacon I hear you ask? Well, as the hog lady at the market said "Once you’ve had boar you never go back". At least I think that’s what she said.

The bacon had been pretty good with eggs but now I realized it could serve a higher purpose – Penne Amatriciana Chingale.


Fishing around the fridge I also found some sweet red peppers and some of those lonely mushrooms (see loneliest zucchini).

Here’s what you need and how you cook it. These measurements are enough for only TWO people (I wanted leftovers) so double for the family.

1/2 onion, diced
one sweet red pepper, diced
three cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 cup of  button mushrooms, thinly sliced
boar bacon (or pancetta of course), cut into small strips
olive oil
one can of tomatoes (unless you are preparing a fresh sauce from scratch and hence have more time than the rest of us)
1/4 cup of red wine
hot red pepper flakes (to taste)
A handful of arugula/rocket

Sautee the boar bacon in its own fat in a large non-stick skillet until it is crispy. Reserve but keep the fat in the skillet. Sautee the onion, garlic and red pepper in the fat with a touch of olive oil if needed.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft then add the tomato sauce, and red wine and the hot red pepper flakes. As I was eating solo I spiced it up but you be the judge of your Gastrokid’s palette. Simmer the sauce at a medium heat for 20 minutes until it has reduced to a decent consistency that will hug the penne that you are now going to cook.

When the sauce is ready, turn off the heat and just before serving, add the arugula to add some green color and a nice bite to the dish.

Garnish with fresh Parmesan (as if you needed prompting).

- Matthew

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