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Pasta with a Tomato, Pancetta and Red Wine Sauce

This is a delicious cold-weather dish. Chillies, tomatoes and pancetta are a classic combination and really hit the spot.


  • For the tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into slivers

  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped

  • Handful fresh basil

  • 800g / 1lb 12oz tin peeled plum tomatoes

  • sea salt and ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 250g / 9oz pancetta, cut into match sticks

  • 2 dried chillies, crushed

  • 150ml / 5 fl oz / ¼ pint red wine

  • 2 tbsp oregano, finely chopped

  • Cooked pasta, 150g per person


  • 1.

    First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the garlic and the shallot until light brown. Add a few basil leaves and then add the tomatoes. Stir and cook gently for 30-40 minutes until reduced into a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and add the remaining basil.

  • 2.

    Fry the pancetta and the dried chillis in the olive oil until the pancetta is crispy. Add the red wine and allow it to reduce before adding the tomato sauce and the oregano. Simmer and serve with penne and parmesan. Test seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

  • 3.

    Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce pan, mix well and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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