Chef's Note: Bucatini is a dried pasta that looks like thick, hollow spaghetti. If you can’t
find it at your market, use spaghetti (which I like a lot with this sauce). I also
like to use mezzi rigatoni here, a completely different shape of pasta that
looks like short rigatoni. This is a rustic dish; everything should be roughly
- 1 (28-ounce) can - peeled plum tomatoes, preferably Italian
- 1/2 pound bacon, preferably thickly sliced and without nitrites
- 1/4 cup California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon peperoncino* (red pepper flakes)
- 1 pound bucatini
- 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
Set a food mill over a bowl and puree the tomatoes with their juices; set aside.
Cut each piece of bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
In an 11-inch skillet, heat the California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook
until softened, about 5 minutes. Turn down the heat if you see the onion begin
to go golden colored.
Add the bacon pieces, ½ teaspoon salt, and the peperoncino and cook gently
without browning until the bacon fat is completely rendered, 12 to 15 minutes.
The bacon should look well cooked but neither crisp nor brown.
Add the tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat until the tomato simmers
very gently, and cook until reduced and thickened, 30 to 35 minutes.
Taste for peperoncino, and add more if you like a spicier sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt until the
water tastes salty (about ¼ cup). Put a colander in the sink. When the sauce
has cooked 25 minutes, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according
to package directions. Drain in the colander.
Dump the drained pasta into the skillet with the sauce and toss with two forks
to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add the cheese and toss well. Serve with
more cheese in a bowl on the side.
* Like black pepper and nutmeg,
peperoncino (red pepper flakes) is now
sold in those neat, glass bottles with
a grinder in the cap. You can grind
as you need it.
Recipe Credit: Delicious Memories
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011), by Anna Boiardi and Stephanie Lyness.
Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang.