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Penne al Baffo

I have been working on a lot of pasta dishes, this one did not make the upcoming book, I had not worked out the recipe in time - But it is a good lead-in to the book which will be out this fall.


1lb of penne

8 ounces of pancetta, cut into long strips

1 28 ounces can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup romano cheese

1/2 cup dry vermouth

2 shallots, minced

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Basil - Garnish


While pasta is cooking as directed on the package, drizzle olive oil in a large deep skillet and place over medium-high heat, add shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant - about 1 to 2 minutes. Next, add pancetta and saute until starting to crisp on the edges, about 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, vermouth, and seasoning. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer just until the tomatoes start to break down and the vermouth is about gone. This is about 10 minutes.

Drain pasta and reserve a cup of the pasta water.

Once the sauce is smooth, add cream, and half the cheese, and stir, add pasta and toss to coat. Add a bit of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish and serve with the remaining cheese.

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