- Two 35-ounce cans peeled Italian plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 small dried red chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into thin strips
- 2 1/2 pounds bucatini or perciatelli pasta
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for passing
- Working over a bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands; reserve the juices.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and chiles and cook over low heat until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is lightly colored, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes. Season with salt.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the bucatini, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and the pecorino and toss well. Transfer the pasta to two large serving bowls and serve hot. Pass additional pecorino at the table.
The ripe fruit of a medium-bodied white, like a Greco di Tufo, will point up the tomato flavors and the saltiness of the sautéed pancetta.