Sunday, March 15, 2009

Penne All'Amatriciana

I am obsessed with collecting recipes. At any given time I have 100-200 recipes bookmarked on my computer. With that said I sometimes have a recipe bookmarked for a long time before I get around to making it. This recipe is an example of that. I found it on Milk and Honey but it originates from Rachel Ray.

I seriously regret not making this sooner. John and I both loved it and I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch. The bacon gives it such a smokey flavor. I let it simmer for 2 hours which is a lot longer than is recommended but I really wanted the bacon taste to penetrate the tomato. It was perfect and I will without a doubt make it again. My only qualm was the texture of the bacon after it cooked in the sauce... it was mushy rather than crisp. Next time I would finely chop the bacon so it isn't as noticeable. A real winner and must try!


1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
1/4 pound, 4 or 5 slices, pancetta*, chopped (I used 7 slices of bacon)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parm cheese to pass at the table


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and pancetta. Cook pancetta 2 or 3 minutes then add onions and garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 7 or 8 minutes more, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and parsley.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce over low heat until ready to serve.

Cook pasta to al dente or, with a bite to it. Drain pasta well. Do not rinse. Starchy pasta holds more sauce. Toss hot pasta with sauce and serve. Pass grated cheese at the table to top pasta.

* Pancetta is Italian rolled, cured pork, similar to bacon, but not smoked. Look for it at your deli counter. Bacon may be substituted resulting in a smoky tomato sauce.


  1. Mmmmmm....we LOVE this recipe. So simple but so good! Looks great! :)