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Bucatini in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Crisped Pancetta

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 60

  • 1/2 lb. 1/4-inch-thick slices pancetta (about 6), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 28-oz. can peeled whole tomatoes, puréed in a blender
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 lb. dried bucatini (or thick spaghetti)
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the pancetta in the oil, stirring often, until it’s crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. Raise the heat to medium high, add the onion and chile flakes, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.

Put the pasta in the water. Add the puréed tomatoes to the skillet and cook to thicken the sauce slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish cooking the pasta until it’s just tender, about 10 minutes total. Drain and add to the sauce. Toss well with the pancetta and 1/2 cup of the Pecorino. Serve immediately, topped with a spoonful of the sauce from the bottom of the pan and a sprinkling of the remaining  Pecorino.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 620; Fat (g): fat g 20; Fat Calories (kcal): 180; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 31; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 79; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1860; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 40; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I love when simple and quick recipes taste good! This will definitely be a go to week night meal for me. For those who care about portion size, if you make this 6 servings instead of 4 (i.e., 2 oz of pasta is a serving, not the 3 oz suggested here), it is 413 calories per serving rather than 620.

I love when simple and quick recipes taste good! This will definitely be a go to week night meal for me. For those who care about portion size, if you make this 6 servings instead of 4 (i.e., 2 oz of pasta is a serving, not the 3 oz suggested here), it is 413 calories per serving rather than 620.

Insanely delicious! Even with slightly al dente pasta and not quite enough pancetta!

Made this tonight and I thought I would speed up process and sauté onion at the same time as pancetta. Don't do that! Almost burnt onions and had to pull out all the pieces of pancetta from the onions so that I could brown the pancetta all the way. Used yellow onion instead of red and used parmigiano reggiano because that's what I had on hand. Also used bucatini pasta which is excellent. I usually fix a recipe similar to this but it doesn't have pancetta. I prefer the recipe with the pancetta. Will definitely fix this from now on when I want a good pasta dinner.

Amazing! I only used 1/2 a red onion and peppered bacon in place of the pancetta (it was very snowing and it was all I had). This was perfectly spicy and delicious. I will most definitely make this again and again.

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