SpaghettiOs (or any other canned pasta for that matter) were forbidden in our household growing up. My parents spent several years in the late 70s living in Naples, Italy and they amassed quite a number of recipes. So many, in fact, that they wanted to share them with friends and family back home so they created a cookbook. You can check out some of their other recipes here.
When I was young, I distinctly remember wanting to go over to all of the neighbors’ houses so I could just have “plain old spaghetti” with butter and cheese. It was so good!
Even though it was delicious, what was I thinking?!?! I was missing out on some of the most flavorful, simple pasta. So let me share my parent’s recipe with you.
For 4 persons:
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbl butter
- 2 tbl olive oil
- 1 1/4″ sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups canned italian tomatoes
- 2 or 3 small dried hot red peppers
- 3 tbl freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbl freshly grated Romano cheese
When looking up this recipe in my parents cookbook, I had to call my mom to remind me what Bucatini looked like. It isn’t necessarily a common pasta. She described it to me as a thicker spaghetti with a hole running through the middle – it is basically a spaghetti straw. If you can’t find bucatini near you, obviously any pasta would do. So here we go!!
Heat oil & butter in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the carrots.
Add pancetta and sauté briefly. Add the tomatoes, chopped pepper and cook over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes, uncovered. Depending on the amount of spice that you prefer, add as much pepper as you can handle (Dad would normally go on the heavy side).
Turn the heat to low. Prepare the bucatini al dente. Add the sauce to the bucatini and mix well. Top with both cheeses. Pair with a nice vino and enjoy!