Basic Pasta with Pancetta

Pasta is something that as an Italian girl, I love. But it can get boring sometimes unless you change it up and know what you are doing. Some sauce and toppings recipes are just unrealistic though and for people that aren’t well versed in pasta, butter and cheese isn’t exactly something that is going to impress anyone around you or really stimulate your taste buds.

This is a super easy and super quick recipe that really packs a punch and tastes like you were trying a lot harder then you did.

With all pasta recipes, the kind of pasta you use matters. I love making my own pasta but its not always realistic. Instead of buying the boxes pasta, try for a bit higher quality. The ones in the see through bags that look like little nests tend to the be the best.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces of corn starch
  • 3 cups of pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (Plus a bit more to serve)
  • 12 ounces linguini
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. While you are waiting for that, over meduim heat cook the pancetta until it is crisp, about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and drain it on a paper towel. Keep two tablespoons of the rendered fat for later use.

In a sauce pan, whisk 1 1/2 cups of water with cornstarch until it is smooth. Add the romano cheese and whisk together over meduim heat, whiskey constantly until the cheese melts and its nice and smooth. Let it simmer slightly to thicken . Remove from heat and stir in the rendered fat from the pancetta.

Stir the pasta into the boiling water with 2 table spoons of salt and cook until al dante (See note). Al danta means it is still slightly firm but cooked. If you are using a higher quality or fresh pasta this will take less time then you think so be sure note to over cook.

When it is done, drain the pasta very well, making sure there is the least amount of moisture you can get. Return the pasta to the pot and let cool for one more minute.

Pour the cheese mixure over the pasta and toss until it is well combine. Mix in two teaspoons of pepper and pancetta. Keep in mind that pancetta is a salty ham and is very salty on its own so make sure you taste test before you add more.

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