Did you know that you should never use hot water when filling the pot to boil pasta? Well, if you've been doing that, stop right this minute. The problem stems from the rust and crud that coat the insides of water heaters. You don't want to eat that.
Last night I made a family favorite, the oft praised Pepperoni Pasta. Everyone loves it because it's seriously tasty. I love it because it is fast and easy to make even on a week night.
1-2 T pure olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 t fresh chopped and smashed garlic - this dish is one of the few exceptions to my rule that you cannot ever use too much garlic, because here, it is quite possible. So just use either a couple nice sized cloves or four smaller ones.
4-8 oz Good quality pepperoni with the pieces sliced in half (like half moons) - I like Wilson's brand as it has lots of flavor and does not taste greasy or salty to me. Really do not like Hormel. The best pepperoni comes from a great Italian Deli in Pittsburgh called Parma Sausage. I often order their delicious meat. It's worth every penny of the shipping charge. Use four ounces pepperoni if you are counting calories and eight if you want a more substantial meal.
2 cans diced tomatoes - You can use plain, roasted, or the one with oregano and garlic.
Anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of one of those pint sized heavy whipping cream things.
black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta - preferably something like penne. This does not work well with the longer pastas.
What you do:
Prep your onion, garlic, and pepperoni.
Fill the pot with cold water, with some salt added (I have no clue why I do this. Always have but if I remember right, it does help the pasta achieve a state of perfection and you do drain it off), and place the pot on a burner set on high to bring the water to a boil.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and when the oil starts shimmering, add the onion. Saute til the onion is clear or even a little browned if you have the patience. Add the garlic and saute for two more minutes.
Add the pepperoni and saute for two more minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring the thing to a nice simmer.
Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, add the cream to the tomato sauce. Add and stir in batches until it looks lovely to you. Grind some black pepper into the sauce. Taste and determine if you need to add more cream or pepper. Simmer on low while the pasta is cooking.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it well in a colander. Then return it to the pot and dump in the pepperoni sauce. Stir well and serve with some fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a loaf of crusty chewy hot bread to help push the pasta onto your fork and to mop up the remains of the sauce.