Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Total time: 15 min
Yield: 2 servings
Difficulty: Easy

  • 3 oz Pancetta
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 3.5 oz Pecorino Cheese
  • 6 oz Long Pasta
  • 1 Hot Pepper
This is another regional recipe from Rome, Italy. You can make it spicy adding one hot pepper, or mild leaving the pepper out. The original recipe is made with Guanciale-the cheek of the pork-but since it’s not so easy to procure I’ve substituted it with Pancetta (bacon).
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. The original recipe is made with a pasta called Bucatini (thick hollow spaghetti). Since they’re not so common, any kind of long pasta will do. I’m using Linguine.
  2. Slice the pancetta in small strips and put it in a frying pan to cook. It is not necessary to add oil or butter.Cook the bacon until the fat has become transparent. If you prefer it crispier leave it a bit longer. However, it has to remain soft.
  3. At this point I do the unthinkable and dry the bacon of its fat in a colander over the sink. But you can skip this step in favor of deliciousness.
  4. Slice the hot pepper in tiny pieces and add it to the bacon. Skip if you don’t like spicy food.
  5. Add the tomato puree, a pinch of salt, and mix. Again, the original recipe would be with fresh tomatoes, but since I’m still a bit of a kid cooked tomatoes with seeds and skin gross me out and I prefer the creamy puree. Lower the fire to a minimum until the pasta is cooked.
  6. Dry the pasta and toss it in the pan. Mix while adding about half of the cheese.
  7. Plate and sprinkle the remaining of the cheese on each plate.
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 Amatriciana by Camilla Isley May-12-2015
Regional Pasta Recipe from Rome, Italy

Vodka Rigatoni

Total time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2
  • 6 oz Pasta
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 3 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 spoons Parmesan Cheese
  • Shallot
  • 1 spoon Olive Oil

This is a typical Italian recipe from the region Emilia Romagna, which is one of the best cooking hubs of Italy. (If it doesn’t ring a bell think Bolognese sauce, Ragu, Lasagna… they all come from there!)

  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. For this kind of recipe I prefer to use Rigatoni pasta, but you can use any other kind you like.
  2. Mince one small shallot. (Shallots are tastier, but if you have any other kind of onion at home that’s ok too.)
  3. Brown the shallot in a skillet adding a spoon of olive oil. After a couple of minutes add 1 cup of vodka and let it reduce until you have more or less ¼ of the liquid left.
  4. Whenever the water is boiling throw in the pasta.
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  5. As blending ingredient I’m using cream cheese, this is the lighter, healthier option. I usually use fat-free or 2x protein. But if you’re looking for a tastier meal rather than saving on calories you can use cooking cream instead, if you really don’t care about calories and want to make this pasta more than delicious you should use Mascarpone cheese. Click to see the different calories in the blending ingredients.
  6. If you’re using the cooking cream or whipped cream cheese put in 6oz. Mascarpone 4oz.
  7. If you’re using regular cream cheese while the vodka evaporates put 3oz in a pot and add one or two ladles of the pasta’s cooking water (after you’ve salted it). Squash and mix with a fork until you have a mostly homogeneous white creamy liquid.
  8. When most of the vodka is evaporated, add the tomato sauce and mix, then add your blending ingredient of choice and mix again.
  9. Sprinkle everything with a pinch of salt and lower the fire to low.
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  10. Now would be a good time to grate the Parmesan cheese. You can buy it already grated, but taste-wise I find that whole cheese is better, and since grating it at home is really easy, I prefer it. To great it I cut the cheese in small cubes, drop them in the food processor, and leave it on until the grain satisfies me.
  11. When the pasta is cooked drain it.
  12. Throw the pasta in the skillet, add two generous spoons of grated Parmesan cheese, and mix for a minute or two on the stove.
  13. Plate the pasta, sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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    The last pic is an example with Rotini pasta… you can use your favorite kind of pasta!

Vodka Rigatoni Pasta Recipe by Camilla Isley