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Finally, that BEST pasta recipe
pasta in a cast iron skillet
Diane Scalia
Diane Scalia
February 6, 2009

Inclined to raid my own refrigerator

Allora (Italian for "well,")...it will soon be Friday night and once I'm done playing on my (late-afternoon-when-I-can) guilty pleasure FaceBook, and more hours have gone by, and once again I did not practice yoga...I'll be hungry and inclined to raid my own refrigerator.

Now today in there I have some amazing applewood-smoked bacon and (roasted; leftover) hot Italian sausages, from those guys I love at Huntington Meats at the Farmers Market. And some more fresh broccoli from Farm Boy, plus a couple Roma tomatoes from Farm Fresh Produce (those last 2 produce stores at the market). All of these are stops of sorts on our Los Angeles Tours.

Now, you add some chopped onion garlic, some white or even Marsala wine + a little lemon juice, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper and a bit of butter...have some pasta cooking (I loved spaghetti with this), and here is what you do:

pasta in a cast iron skillet

Cook diced bacon or Italian sausage, with diced onion/minced garlic, in medium-large skillet until bacon is cooked or sausage is well heated through. (Add a little olive oil if pan is too dry.) Add some diced tomato and heat through for a couple minutes. Add some wine to pan, enough to make a light sauce now, splash in a little lemon juice, and simmer sauce while pasta finishes cooking. I also added some of the pasta water to the pan, to make more sauce, it's perfect for this!

Place your cut up broccoli in the bottom of colander. When pasta is cooked al dente, pour pasta from stockpot over broccoli to drain; this will cook the broccoli perfectly.

Add a swirl of butter

Add a swirl of butter to the sauce that is getting ready to 'receive' the pasta!

"Sauce" the pasta and broccoli in the pan, stirring gently until completely coated and heated through. Transfer to serving bowl(s) and sprinkle with grated Parmesan, season with freshly ground black pepper.

In true modo di Toscano (Tuscan fashion), you may wish to drizzle the pasta with a extra-virgin olive oil as a fine finish! When I took a cooking course in Tuscany, our lovely instructor Sandra constantly reminded of the "extra-virgin" and how necessary it is, to complete the prep of just about everything placed on the table.

Those of us who are extra-ambitious will add a salad to this on the side, and I strongly recommend some fresh bread of sorts too. What's left in the bowl or on the plate is sublime with a mop of bread, I promise!

Buon appetito! I hope you enjoy this authentic Italian meal!

And all the best from your faithful tour maestra,

Diane Scalia

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