THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY: Amor Towles’s Fettucine Mio Amore
One of my best friends growing up was an Italian American named Claudio, who lived in Milan. When we were boys in the 1970s and Claudio would come to New England for the summer, he would be horrified by the American insistence upon drowning all pasta in a thick red sauce. A household should serve pasta in twenty different ways, he would argue, and each preparation should highlight a few essential flavors through intensity rather than volume.
Fettucine Mio Amore, the dish that Duchess makes for Emmett, Woolly, Billy, and Sally on their last night together in The Lincoln Highway is an homage to my old friend and a favorite of the Towles family.
Amor Towles’s Fettucine Mio Amore
Fettucine Mio Amore, the dish that Duchess makes for Emmett, Woolly, Billy, and Sally in THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY is an homage to my old friend and a favorite of the Towles family. -Amor Towles
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large or two small onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 pound smoked American bacon, cut crosswise into ¼ inch strips
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (and not an ounce more!)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 12-16 ounces fettuccine, preferably fresh
- In a reasonably deep saucepan, cook the onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent, then set the onions aside. In the same pan, fry the bacon with the bay leaf until the bacon is brown but not crisp. Pour off most, but not all of the bacon fat.
- Add back the onions, the white wine, and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, oregano, and pepper flakes. Stir and let simmer another ten minutes. (Add a little more chicken broth as necessary, if the sauce is drying out.) Toss the sauce with the fettuccine and parmesan, then serve, spooning the bacon and onions onto the top of each plate.