Featured in our Holiday 2021 Food + Entertaining article, Festa Italiana, this Fusilli Pomodoro dish has just the right amount of creaminess paired with tomatoes and infused with the smokiness of crispy bacon.
Fusilli PomodoroCourse: Main
1 pound fusilli pasta
16 ounces good bacon or pancetta, or 8 ounces guanciale
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 stalks celery, halved and thinly sliced
½ red onion, chopped
Red pepper flakes, to taste (approximately ¼ teaspoon)
12 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as shiitaki, white button, or baby bella
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream (or more, to taste)
1 orange, washed and zested
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Torn basil leaves
Maldon finishing salt and extra Parmesan, for serving
- Set an 8-quart stock pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the olive oil to the pot. Allow the oil to heat up for about 30 seconds, then add the chopped bacon or pancetta to the pot and cook until crisp. Remove cooked bacon and drain all but about one tablespoon of the oil from the pot. Add remaining olive oil and cook the onions, celery, and red pepper flakes over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Return the bacon to the pot. Add garlic and stir, cooking for one minute. Then add the wine and red wine vinegar, continue to cook until liquid is evaporated to just one teaspoon. Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hand as you add to the pot. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes, lightly popping and breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a light simmer.
- Add ½ cup vegetable stock and let simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
- Add butter, heavy cream, and orange zest. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes until cream is reduced into the sauce. Check seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the cooked pasta directly to the sauce. Add grated Parmesan and reserved pasta water to the mixture, stirring until the cheese has melted.
- Transfer to serving bowl or individual bowls. Top with torn basil and a bit of Maldon finishing salt. Serve hot with extra Parmesan, if desired.