The fist time that I had this delicious pasta was many years ago at my Father’s house. I immediately loved the flavors of the sauce-the pancetta, the onion, the tomatoes….it just goes together so well.
As it turns out he bought the cookbook which contains the recipe while on vacation in Italy. Ironically, it’s an American book published in CA named Sunset Italian Cook Book. I ordered the book immediately from Amazon. I had to buy a used copy as it’s no longer in print. There are a TON of delicious recipes in it too. If you ever come across a copy pick it up. Seems like it was part of a series of cook books that they published in the late 70s, early 80s.
None of that matters though. What matters is the deliciousness and ease of making this dish. It’s one of our favorites. You could sub bacon for the pancetta but please don’t if you can possibly avoid it. The pancetta gives a completely different flavor.
- 1/4lb. sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch squares
- olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 14.5oz can crushed or diced fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organic)
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used a vernacchia)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2/3 lb bucatini
- In a large skillet over medium heat cook the pancetta, stirring frequently, until slightly crispy and brown. Remove it with a slotted spoon, allowing as much of the oil to drip back into and remain in the pan as possible. When all of the pancetta has been removed measure the oil that remains in a measuring cup. You need 1/4 cup. If you have enough great, if not top it off with olive oil.
- Pour the oil back into the pan over medium heat and add the onion and chilis. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes (and the juices), wine and parsley. Stir to combine and break up any large chunks of tomatoes.
- Adjust heat so that the sauce simmers gently, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes until sauce has thickened a bit.
- While the sauce is cooking cook the bucatini in a large pot of gently salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and return it to the pot. Add the cooking water to the pasta and stir.
- Add the pancetta to the tomato mixture in the pan, stir to combine, and then add all of the sauce to the pasta. Stir to distribute.
- Serve on a large platter or individually.
Adapted from Sunset Italian Cookbook.