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Bucatini with Pancetta and Pecorino

By Chef John Ash

This dish exemplifies just how a few good ingredients can make a superb dish. All kinds of variations are possible with this recipe, including the addition of finely chopped ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced and sautéed onions, or tender spinach leaves. Enjoy with a glass of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 30 minutes

    Prep Time 10 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    1 lb dried bucatini or thick spaghetti

    6 oz good quality thick sliced pancetta or bacon cut into matchsticks

    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

    1 c freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

    Freshly ground black pepper to taste


    1. Bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the bucatini and cook till just tender but firm to the bite (al dente).

    2. While the pasta is cooking add the olive oil to a large sauté pan large enough to hold the pasta later on. Over moderately high heat sauté the pancetta till browned and nearly crisp. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

    3. Quickly drain the pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water and add to the sauté pan. Using tongs, toss with the bacon. Add the parsley, zest and cheese and toss again adding the reserved pasta water.

    4. Cover and let rest for one minute on very low heat to allow pasta to absorb the flavors. Serve immediately in warm bowls with grindings of black pepper to taste.

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