Pasta all’Amatriciana with Pancetta

Pasta all’Amatriciana is a classic Roman dish, featuring a robust, slightly spicy tomato sauce with cured pork jowl, known as guanciale (pronounced gwan-chee-all-eh).

I honestly accidentally ordered this item at a restaurant in Rome..

I was debating between the pasta all’Amatriciana and the eggplant parmesan, and had fully decided on the eggplant parm.

But when the waiter came to take my order… all’Amatriciana popped out of my mouth!!

Oops!

But OMG, what a happy mistake it was.

The rigatoni came out piping hot, thickly coated in a spicy silky tomato sauce with nice chunky pieces of golden guanciale.

Basically, it was instantly my new favorite pasta.

And so simple, too!

A true testament to keeping things basic and letting the ingredients shine.

PS- If you’re ever in Rome, the restaurant I’m talking about is La Tavernaccia in the Trastavere region. It’s a little out of the way, but so so so worth it.

We also ordered the roasted suckling pig & the lardo & honey bruschetta, and were blown away by all of it!

And how adorable is it that they hand-write their menus each day 🙂 Thankfully, they spoke English & even had a hand written English version of the menu.

Plus, it’s nice to know you’re supporting a family run restaurant, rather than one of a million lackluster tourist traps.

So, here we are, nearly 9 months later, and I’ve just now gotten around to recreating that magical dish.

But this time, I went with bucatini, rather than rigatoni, because I wanted those twirlable, twistable noodles that are so fun to eat.

And of course, none of the stores near me sell guanciale (boooo), so I swapped in pancetta instead.

Honestly, it was still just as delicious!

All’Amatriciana is super simple to make.

It’s just pancetta, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, and tomatoes, topped with high quality grated romano cheese.

And please, don’t buy crappy cheap tomatoes for this dish. It won’t turn out well.

I used Cento brand crushed tomatoes, which I love, because they are not watery at all, which = tons of flavor in every bite and a wonderfully thick sauce.

This pasta is a loving act of patience for such a simple dish, but it still comes together in about an hour from start to finish.

So worth it!

Serve with Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas and get ready for a FABULOUS meal.

 

5 from 3 votes
Pasta all'Amatriciana with Pancetta
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bottle chardonnay (187 mL)
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably Cento brand)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried bucatini pasta
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese, for serving
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley, for serving
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan, and warm over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes, until golden brown all over. 

  2. Turn off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan and onto a plate to cool and crisp. 

  3. Keep the drippings in the pan, and warm over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for another 6 minutes or so, until the onions are tender and just starting to turn golden. If the garlic seems to be cooking too fast or on the verge of burning, turn down the heat as needed. 

  4. When the onions are done, add the chardonnay and cook for two minutes to let some of the wine cook off. 

  5. Add the pancetta and any accumulated juice back to the pan. Stir to combine with the wine and onion mixture. 

  6. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning or sticking. 

  7. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When there's about 10 minutes left on the pasta sauce, add the bucatini to the large pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions until just al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water before draining, then drain the pasta. 

  8. Add the pasta to to pan with the tomato sauce, and toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to thin the sauce a bit, and continue to toss the pasta to coat. Increase the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, tossing the noodles in the sause, letting it thicken and nicely coat each noodle. 

  9. Once the sauce is thick and evenly coating the pasta, turn off the heat and serve the pasta into bowls. Top generously with grated Romano cheese, freshly cracked salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. 

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Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Glorious, glorious kale salad.

I know, it’s been a “thing” for years now, but I honestly can’t get enough!

This is the… fourth… kale salad recipe on the blog, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Easy Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

The twist on this kale salad is the way the tender leaves are cut.

Rather than just tearing them up into pieces, the leaves are sliced cross-wise into thin strips, kind of like a thick chiffonade.

This makes the salad ultra tender and easy to eat.

Kale Salad Recipe with Cranberries, Pepitas, and Garlic Breadcrumbs

You know what’s even easier?

You don’t have to whisk a dressing for this salad!

Simply drizzle with fresh lemon juice & olive oil, and call it a day.

The extra pops of flavor come from sweet-tart dried cranberries, salty pepitas, savory Parmesan cheese, and homemade buttery garlic breadcrumbs.

The flavor combos are amazing.

This kale salad with cranberries and pepitas is definitely going on my Thanksgiving menu this year!

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas Recipe

 

5 from 1 vote
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, washed, stems removed, leaves cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly ground sourdough breadcrumbs made by pulsing sourdough sandwich bread in a mini food processor
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (without sulfites)
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted pepitas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add the thinly sliced kale to a large salad bowl and set aside. 

  2. Next, add the butter to a small nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat until melted. Add the fresh breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden brown and starting to crisp up. When fully golden and crisp, turn off the heat and stir in the garlic powder and salt. Then remove from the pan to a large plate to cool in one flat layer. 

  3. While the breadcrumbs cool, add the cheese, cranberries, and pepitas to the kale. Pour the juice of 1 lemon over the top, and drizzle the salad liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well to combine. 

  4. When the breadcrumbs are cooled, sprinkle them over the salad and toss again to combine. Serve right away. 

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Baked Turkey Meatballs

Baked Turkey Meatball Recipe - easy & packed with fresh herbs!

Baked Turkey Meatball Recipe - easy & packed with fresh herbs!

What’s your favorite way to cook meatballs?

I was completely torn between baked & pan fried for awhile…. until I finally did a head to head test.

I made one batch of meatballs, and pan fried one half, and baked the other.

The result?

Much to my surprise, I actually preferred them baked!

While the pan fried meatballs did get a nice crispy exterior, they totally lost their round shape.

Plus, it was really annoying to try and rotate all the balls in the pan to try & get them crispy on all sides.

WAY too much work for just a little payoff.

The baked meatballs, however, were SO easy (like just put them in the oven & wait 20 minutes).

I brushed them with a little olive oil, so they were still nice & golden on the outside and retained their beautiful round shape.

MUCH more attractive when set out for appetizers or placed on top of a pile of spaghetti 🙂

Baked Turkey Meatball Recipe - Just brush with olive oil & pop in the oven for 20 minutes

Recently, I’ve really been digging TURKEY meatballs (instead of beef or pork).

They have a lighter texture, and I love how the cleaner taste of the turkey meat allows the other flavors in the meatballs to shine through (which is key, since I add tons of herbs to my meatball mixture).

But anyways, these turkey meatballs are super easy to make.

Just mix everything together with you hands in a large bowl, shape into meatballs, brush with olive oil, and bake for about 20 minutes.

THAT’S IT!

And while they bake, you can boil some pasta or set out some marinara for dipping.

Love easy dinners like this.

Baked Turkey Meatball Recipe - Serve over pasta or dip in marinara for an appetizer

 

Baked Turkey Meatballs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Servings: 16 meatballs
Ingredients
  • 20 oz ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • olive oil, for cooking
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Meanwhile, add the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, milk, tomato paste, salt, pepper, egg, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to a large mixing bowl. Mix together with your hands until well combined.

  3. Wash your hands very well with warm soapy water, then get out a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Roll the meatballs into 1 1/2 inch balls (roughly 16 total), and place on the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.

  5. When done, remove from the oven and enjoy! The meatballs are great on their own, or over spaghetti, or dipped in marinara as an appetizer. They even make wonderful meatball subs for lunch the next day.

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