This entire dish can be prepared in the short time it takes to boil pasta. With pancetta (or bacon), onions, tomato and cheese, this pasta is chock full of flavor and sure to please the entire family.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 oz pancetta, sliced 1/4" thick
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1 lb bucatini or linguine
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
While the water is warming up, slice the pancetta (or thick cut bacon) into strips 1" long and 1/4" wide. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until it is shimmering but not smoking. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring, until light brown and crispy, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer the bacon or pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate; reserve. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. (There won’t be much extra fat if you’re using pancetta.) Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook to release their flavor, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices and season with a small amount of salt to taste (remember that the bacon and cheese will add more salt to the dish). Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, add 2 teaspoons of salt to the pasta water and the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente; drain and return the pasta to the empty pot.
Add the pancetta or bacon back to the tomato sauce. Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta and toss over low heat to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the cheese and toss again. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls.
Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking video host, and the founder of One Family One Meal, a website that helps families menu plan, grocery shop, and cook on a budget. Her latest writing collaboration is with renowned chef Todd English. The book, Cooking in Everyday English, is loaded with family-friendly recipes. Amanda’s own cookbook, Real Family Food, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released in the Fall of 2012.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.