The Spicy, Porky, Cheesy Pasta Recipe You’ll Want to Commit to Memory

Rigatoni with tomato, pancetta, chile, and plenty of pecorino is one of our favorites

By Martha Upton

Published on March 13, 2017

Transport yourself to a small town in the Italian province of Perugia tonight with this Rigatoni with Pancetta Tomato Sauce. Montefalco's Arnaldo Caprai winery may be known for its wine, but chef Salvatore Denaro is also making some seriously delicious pasta dishes. And you can too.

It’s no surprise that you’ll need wine for the sauce; the recipe does come from a winery, after all. But it's really about the pancetta: cured but not smoked pork belly that brings a lighter, brighter meatiness to the sauce than bacon would. Chile flakes add the appropriate amount of heat to the sauce.

But there’s one last critical step to bring this pasta recipe together: a fat handful (or two) of pecorino, added in two stages to bind the sauce together and then add a final dose of salty, savory pop. The cheese combines the pasta and sauce into one glorious, silky creation, for a dish you’ll want to memorize every time company comes around.

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