A beloved and lesser known Italian classic, this authentic recipe is a family favorite.
With Roman roots, this pleasantly salty, savory rigatoni dish brings a little bit of Italy to your table.
- 1 (1-pound package) Rigatoni or Spaghetti pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons coarsley ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta-cooking water
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Cook according to package instructions, reserving 1 1/2 cups of hot pasta cooking water.
2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil on a medium-low setting in a large saucepan. Cook pancetta with garlic until pancetta begins to brown and crisp, about 10 – 15 minutes stirring often. Remove and discard garlic once it begins to soften, before pancetta is done cooking. Season with black pepper.
3. Add 1 cup of pasta cooking water to the saucepan with pancetta. Turn up the heat to cook for about 4 minutes to create a thick, glossy sauce.
4. Toss hot pasta in the pan with sauce to coat. Stir in cheese until melted and combined. Add more pasta cooking water as to create a loose sauce.
5. Serve sprinkled with Pecorino Romano.