June 6, 2023

Weeknight Spaghettoni with Tomatoes & Pancetta

Recipe: Ina Garten

“Everyone needs a few quick pasta dinners in their repertoire, and this one is really adaptable. The pancetta and red wine give it fantastic flavor.” – Ina Garten


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Good olive oil
  • 6 ounces (¼-inch) diced pancetta
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dry red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound dried spaghettoni or bucatini (see note)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese, divided (4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Fill a large pot with water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until starting to brown. Add the reserved pancetta, the garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add the wine and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the liquid has almost entirely evaporated. Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper and taste for seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than al dente according to directions on the package. With tongs, transfer the pasta to the pot with the sauce, bringing some of the pasta water with it. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with the tongs and adding more pasta water as needed to make a loose sauce. Off the heat, stir in ½ cup of the Pecorino and the ¼ cup basil and toss with tongs. Taste for seasonings. Transfer to pasta bowls, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Pecorino and more basil, and serve hot.

Note: Spaghettoni is a thicker pasta than spaghetti, but you can also use regular spaghetti.


Recipes excerpted from the book GO-TO DINNERS: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. ©2022 by Ina Garten. Photographs ©2022 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC