Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rigatoni with Roasted Red Peppers Tomatoes and Pancetta

I went to the grocery store yesterday and after 20 minutes of looking for Pancetta in the meat department I went up to the young guy behind the meat counter and asked him “Where’s the Pancetta?”

He didn’t know what I was talking about. I must admit before my last cooking class I didn’t know what Pancetta was either. He asked me, “what’s it like?” I said, “it’s like bacon, from the same part of the pig (stomach), but it’s not smoked.” So he took me to the sliced meat/cheese selection and handed me
Prosciutto.  I said, “no, that’s not Pancetta.”

He said, “it’s the only P word I know that’s like bacon.  Check the Deli section.” Little did he know that prosciutto, yes comes from a pig and is cured, is from the hind quarter or ham section not the stomach. But nice try.

I did find diced Pancetta in the Deli section next to other imported meats. Yeah! Because Pancetta is the reason I’m doing this recipe. And it’s a very easy one, serves 6 with a total time of just 20 minutes.


  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and divided
  • 2 - 3 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, preferably Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)

  • Directions:

  • Cook rigatoni according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid, drain rest. 

  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat then add the pancetta and allow it to start to brown, rendering some of its fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent. 

  • While that’s cooking, dice 1/2 of the roasted red peppers. Place the other 1/2 in a blender with the reserved pasta cooking liquid and blend until a smooth sauce. 

  • In the skillet with the pancetta and onions add the cooked pasta, sliced red peppers and sauce. Toss until pasta is heated through. Add red pepper flakes, if using along with the chopped parsley. Salt and pepper, to taste. 

  • To serve: transfer to large bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum Yum! 
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