This simple, but satisfying pasta is easy to make and very popular. There’s probably countless ways to make it but this one is roughly adapted from from Kay Chun in NYTimes Cooking. Your choice of meat can be different each time you make it, we used prosciutto – because that was what was available – but you can also guanciale, pancetta or even bacon of some type. Also, the correct pasta to use is bucatini but we also substituted what we had: penne. Dial up the red pepper flakes if you want a bit more kick.
For this you’ll need: 4 oz pancetta (chopped), x2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped), x1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 lb bucatini pasta, 1/4 cup parmesan (grated), olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place a good glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the chopped pancetta and stir well. Allow to cook until the meat is just browning about 5 mins. Add in the chopped garlic and stir well to combine until just fragrant – about 1 min. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and a good grinding of salt and pepper. Sir together well and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow to cook down until thickened – about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until just al dente – per package instructions (generally about 7-8 minutes). Drain the pasta reserving about 1 cup of pasta water. Place the pasta back into the pot it was boiled in.
Once the tomatoes are cooked down, add them to the pasta in the large pot along with 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Stir well over low heat until everything is combined, adding in more pasta water, if needed, until smooth. Turn off the heat and add the grated parmesan. Combine well and serve with some crusty bread.