Mariel here. If I was Italian, this recipe would have my relatives rolling over in their graves. But I’m not, so I have no shame in sharing it!
While I clearly doctored a traditional Amatriciana recipe – and gasp, used store-bought tomato sauce! – I contend that this makes an apt imitator. And with minimal prep time and a short ingredient list, this recipe does everyone a few favors. Feel free to use whatever brand of tomato sauce you like (or is on sale). Although, I do suggest sticking with a variety that isn’t too junked up with ingredients, just a simple marinara or garlic marinara will suffice.
If you feel inclined, by all means, make your own tomato sauce, homemade is typically more wallet-friendly. You can also swap out the fresh basil for dried and use less fancy parmesan to cut costs, but it does make a difference flavor-wise.
This dish reheats beautifully and keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Buon appetito, or as we say in English, pass the remote.
Lazy Man’s Pasta all’Amatriciana
1 28-oz jar of marinara sauce – $2.99
1 16-oz box whole wheat penne (rigatoni, or rotini) – $1.99
1 1/2 yellow squash, diced finely (green zucchini also works well) – $2.99
1/2 of a vidalia or sweet onion, diced finely – $1.79
1/4 lb of prosciutto (or pancetta, which is marginally cheaper) chopped into cubes – $4.50
1/2 cup parmesan shavings – $4.00
1/4 cup basil, chopped finely – $1.49
1 tsp balsamic vinegar – stock
Dash of garlic powder – stock
Dash of black pepper – stock
Dash of cayenne pepper – stock
2 TBS olive oil – stock
Grand total, assuming stocked kitchen: $19.75
Cost per serving: $2.47
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Once shimmering, add the onion, squash, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder. Heat for 2 minutes without stirring. After 2 minutes, stir occasionally until the squash is tender and starting to brown and the onion is translucent.
2. Add the prosciutto and stir together. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the tomato sauce, bring the mixture to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer.
4. In a large covered sauce pan, heat enough water for a box of pasta. About 6 cups should work. Salt the water. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Usually whole wheat pasta takes slightly longer than white to cook.
5. Strain the pasta and toss with the “Amatriciana” sauce. Garnish with basil and a hefty helping of parmesan shavings. Serve hot.