Dinner :: Pasta with Potatoes

My first Bittman!

After talking with my friend Raquel, a true food blogger, I learned of the amazing "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. We both saw Julia & Julia on Sunday (muuuuuch better than the book, by the way), and I was inspired and went out and bought it on my way home. [Notice that I wasn't inspired to get Mastering the Art of French Cooking; I was actually frightened away from it and will likely never attempt a single Julia Child recipe.]

"How to Cook Everything" reads more like a piece of non-fiction than a recipe book, and from what I can tell so far, it features fresh, simple, tasty food. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I chose a simple - yet intriguing - first dish to attempt. I'd never had pasta + potatoes before, and since I love both so much, I had to give it a whirl.

The result was very satisfactory, though it would have been better suited to the winter months (which Bittman warned me, but I naively chose not to heed his advice).

*Note that the pasta in the recipe is "leftover pasta," meaning it's already cooked...

Pasta with Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything

1. Combine 2 T. olive oil, 4 oz minced bacon, and 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes in a large soup kettle over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon becomes crisp, about 10 minutes. Add 1 T. chopped garlic; cook 1 minute more, then add 5 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks. Raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes brown a bit, about 10 minutes.
2. Add 1 (28-oz) can whole plum tomatoes with their juices along with 1 C. hot water. Add about 1.5 lbs leftover pasta, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adding hot water as necessary - the texture should remain thick and stewy, never dry.
3. About 30 minutes later, when the potatoes are tender and the pasta is much, it's done. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.


  1. I like it. Will do. You've gotta give me some picture motivation though, E. And try to include your sweet face. That would make it even more fun.

  2. Oh, I'm so glad I've converted you to the cult of Mark Bittman! You'll love his book the further you delve into it. It's like more of a food advice book than a cookbook. And really you can't go wrong with any of his recipes. His mac and cheese recipe is one of my Holy Grails.

  3. I have Bittman's "How to cook everything vegetarian". I LOVE it and what you said about it reading more like non-fiction is absolutely true. It's my go-to when I want to figure out what to do with a new veggie or grain since it teaches you HOW to cook something vs. a single recipe. LOVE the Bit.