This recipe is a basic pasta dish which is indigenous to the Roman area of Italy. My most fondest memory of it was enjoying it with my uncle one year after travelling on the auto strade for most of the day. We turned off into a small town on the outskirts of Roma, stoped outside a small trattoria I could never find ever again and settled down to a fantastic robust dish. The recipe went something like this.
Cut the pancetta up into small cubes, put them to the side.
Cut the onion up and fry it in some olive oil. Crush the garlic cloves and add them too. When all soft, take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and add some more olive oil and fry the pancetta.
The flat pancetta can take a bit of frying. When the pieces become translucent and the mix is sticky to turn in the pan, you know you have about another minute to go.
Add the fried onions and garlic to the pancetta and stir all together until mixed through. The smell should be to stupendous at this point and I would be suggesting you consider priming the taste buds with a lovely glass of cabinet sauvignon at this point.
Add the pelati and raise the heat until it all come to the boil, add pepper and salt to taste, then lower the heat and simmer gently with the lid on for 10-15 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, boil a large pot of water for the pasta, add a table spoon of salt.
Once boiling, add the penne. Once on the boil again don't forget to give them a stir to make sure they don't stick together.
About 2-3 minutes before the pasta is cooked take the lid off the sauce to reduce it a bit. You will not need to increase the heat.
When ready, drain the pasta, return it to the pot and add the sauce.
Add some parmigana, the rest of the bottle of wine and some good company, the family and what more could you want in life.
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