Pasta Amatriciana (AKA A Reason to Talk About Jessica Jones)

Pasta Amatriciana
I just finished a rewatch of Jessica Jones. 

Jessica Jones focuses on a once super-hero, now PTSD suffering ace PI, who gets tangled up with a psychopath who just so happens to have mind controls powers and be desperately obsessed with her. 

jessica jones gif

But you know that, because obviously you’ve already watched it through once, watched it again and concluded that it is the best show of all time. 

(Okay, maybe not the best show of all time… but Bake Off isn’t back until August)

I just really, really love it, guys. At its very core, it’s all about a friendship between women and about recovery, but surrounding that is this kind of gritty crime drama about the most haunting villain in all of the history of ever. It’s brilliant, because it’s so different from the other things Marvel are doing, and actually championing showing women on screen as strong and flawed and, y’know, like real people. This is a step in the right direction. Also there are fights. 

Pasta Amatriciana

Let’s just talk about Kilgrave for a minute, as well, because he is really chilling. World domination is the common aim, but Kilgrave has arguably the most useful power of all of the powers in the MCU, and yet he is using it nearly entirely to perve on women and make people piss themselves or slice open their skin – that is some terrifying stuff. Even though he is pure evil, though, he is occasional a right charmer, or sometimes someone to pity, and then the show manages to make you feel dirty for pitying him. Just wanted to throw this in here, because he is the slimiest villain ever and it is so watchable. There aren’t many villains that make me want to cook something. 

Pasta Amatriciana

So, on my second watch through, while crawling in my skin as Kilgrave does his next reprehensible thing, I noticed he references this pasta dish a couple of times – his favourite, apparently – Pasta Amatriciana. I did a quick search to see what this was, and then decided to have a go at making a version. 

It’s surprising, in some ways, because if you were Kilgrave you could demand anything of any level of grandeur and get it, but actually this pasta is very simple and can be prepared in about half an hour and it’s likely you have all the ingredients to hand. Perhaps it is so he can roll into someone’s house and know they can make it without needing to go to the store and therefore potentially leave his field of influence, or perhaps he just really loves pancetta. 

Pasta Amatriciana
He does like Jessica Jones. In some ways this pasta is like Jessica Jones. It looks simple enough, but when you get into it it’s actually pretty firey, and the sauce is cooked down for long enough that the flavours get deep and a little more complex. Plus, the name sounds pretentious, which strikes me as something Kilgrave would really go for. 

It’s a really great pasta to watch Jessica Jones with, too, because it’s comforting and warm, and really delicious. So as you watch people being told to put their hands in blenders, you can be reminded that your world is OK, and no one is controlling you, and you can definitely go back for seconds. 

Try it. You will love it. 

Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana
Serves 2
A spicy tomato pasta full of pancetta. A Kilgrave favourite. You will love it.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 1 cup pancetta (the stuff you get in cubes in the cold meats section of Sainsbo's will be fine)
  3. 1 tsp chilli flakes (or, to taste)
  4. 1 cup dry white wine
  5. 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  6. Pecorino, grated, about 3/4 of a cup, with a little reserved for garnish
  7. More than enough pasta for 2, I used spaghetti; enough so that if I held it in my first it formed a tube with the same diameter as a £2 coin*
Instructions
  1. First, chop your onion. I went for coarse slices over diced, for no reason other than I find that visually pleasing and I just got a cleaver and slicing is suddenly very enjoyable.
  2. Fry the pancetta on a very low heat, until it just begins to crisp.
  3. Throw in your sliced onion, stir to coat the onion in the delicious bacon fat, and keep frying for a few minutes until the onion gets clear and tender.
  4. Add the chilli flakes, stir again so the small red flakes stick to the onion, like red chicken pox on pale skin (but delicious)
  5. Chuck in the wine, and let it reduce. If you are in a hurry you can turn the heat up and keep stirring, if you are not, leave it. It will reduce in its own time, until syruppy is about right.
  6. Throw the tinned tomatoes in, and again leave it to reduce down, because I very much think this should be a thick sauce. This might be another 10 minutes.
  7. While your sauce reduces, that's a good time to cook your pasta. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook according to packet instructions.
  8. When the pasta is done, drain it. Take your sauce off the heat, and stir in the pecorino. When the cheese is melted, throw the pasta in too, and mix it all up, before serving. Eat while watching your most favourite episode of Jessica Jones
Notes
  1. Traditionally, this is apparently made with Bucatti, which is like hollow spaghetti. Sainsbury's do not sell this.
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