Pancetta, Tomato and Ricotta Pasta

Home from work and HANGRY (hungry-angry)! This word completely embodies exactly how I feel around 6 PM every night. Luckily, this dinner only took a few minutes to throw together from left-overs from last weekend’s dinner party.

Fry up a little sweet, salty, pancetta meatiness. Pour out most of the fat cuz a little molten pork grease goes a looooong way. Sauté the onion and garlic (grated on the microplane for maximum flavor!) in the piggy goodness, then toss in some tomato paste for depth and fresh summer tomatoes hacked into raggedy big hunks. Let it all mingle while the pasta boils.Top it all off with some sweet, creamy ricotta and salty parmesan—yes, cheese on cheese action, it’s totally acceptable behavior—and have at it!

Pancetta, Tomato, and Ricotta Pasta

I dolloped the ricotta on top, but you can definitely just mix it in and make it a creamy sauce. I didn’t add any fresh herbs because my fridge massacred (froze) them, but if I had them, I would have added some fresh basil near the end.

Serves 4 if you’re reasonable; 2 if you’re HANGRY

3-4 oz pancetta, cubed into 1/4″ squares

1/2 of a red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or finely chopped

2 T. tomato paste

3 medium, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

8 0z linguine or other long pasta

1/2-3/4 c. part-skim ricotta

Parmesan for serving

  • First, put a large pot of  water on high heat and let come to a boil while you make the sauce- the water can take a while and if you’re HANGRY you do do not want to be waiting for it
  • While the H2o comes to a boil, brown the pancetta in a dry pan over  medium heat until well rendered. Remove the pancetta to a plate and discard most of fat from the pan, leaving only a little (~1/2 T) in the pan
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until soft. Add grated garlic and tomato paste and scrape up any brown bits; cook for a minute or so
  • Toss in the tomato chunks, a pinch red pepper flakes, lots of black pepper, and salt to taste
  • Turn the heat to low and let simmer until the pasta’s ready
  • When the pasta water is boiling, add what is scientifically known as a “crap ton” of salt and dump in your pasta. Cook for the amount of time indicated on the pasta box or until it’s done how you like it
  • Drain the pasta and add directly to the pan of tomato sauce, along with the reserved pancetta; mix over low heat to let the pasta absorb the sauce (just a minute or two)
  • Divide onto plates, dollop on the ricotta and sprinkle with parmesan
  • Done and done


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