Ready In:

About half an hour

Good For:


Penne with Pancetta & Onion

  • 1 lb penne
  • 1/3 lb pancetta, cubed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ c plain tomato sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Fresh grated parmesan to garnish

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Place the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, then add the pancetta and sauté until it is cooked through and almost crispy – 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cubes.

Step 2

While the pancetta is on the go cook the penne to al dente as per package instructions. When it is done reserve ½ c of pasta water, drain the penne, cover and set aside.

Step 3

When the pancetta is cooked through lower the heat and add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper – be careful with the salt as the pancetta brings a good deal of saltiness to the dish. Let the pancetta and tomato sauce mingle for a few minutes, then add the penne and the pasta water. Bring up the heat and toss the pasta through the sauce until the water has evaporated and the pasta is gently coated.

Note – this is not a super saucy pasta. The tomato sauce is added for flavor rather than sauciness and is a barely there component of this dish.

Step 4

Serve the pasta to shallow bowls, sprinkle generously with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper, and scatter the basil over top. Now sit down and enjoy the simple, delicious flavors of this pasta dish.

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