- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons minced celery leaves
- 1 dried red chile, crumbled
- One 28-ounce can imported tomatoes, preferably from San Marzano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound dried strozzapreti pasta
- Freshly grated Grana Padana or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley, mint, celery leaves and red chile and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and simmer over moderately high heat, crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the sauce is thick, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring, until slightly underdone. Drain the pasta lightly, then add it to the sauce and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes longer, until just al dente. Transfer the strozzapreti to a warmed bowl and pass the cheese separately.
A straightforward red with good acidity harmonizes with this simple sauce. Consider a Barbera d'Alba or Barbera d'Asti, both from Piedmont.