Pasta with Pancetta

Simple pasta with yummy, salty pancetta.

My riff on a recipe from American Test Kitchen. You can usually find diced pancetta at Whole Foods or Fresh Market, but I haven't found a good brand at Kroger yet. If you don't feel like searching for pancetta, you can use bacon.


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6oz pancetta or bacon, cubed or sliced into strips
  • 1 onion
  • Half tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1lb bucatini, linguine, or fusilli pasta (just pick whatever looks entertaining to you)
  • Half cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add pancetta to hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Water should be boiling by now, so add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. Pour off all but about 2 tbsp of fat from skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened.
  5. Stir in red pepper flakes and tomatoes, and simmer until slightly thickened (about 10 minutes).
  6. Reserve a half cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return pasta to pot.
  7. Add meat to sauce, then sauce to pasta. Toss to combine. Adjust consistency of the sauce with the reserved pasta water.