250g San Marzano tomatoes or any good plum tomatoes
350g of rigatoni pasta
Good extra virgin olive oil
75g of pecorino
This recipe serves 3-4 people.
The cooking process:
Chop the pancetta or the guanciale thin and long ways and add to a medium hot frying pan with just a touch of olive oil.
While the pancetta is getting crispy, finely chop the red onion into half moons.
Once the pancetta is crispy, take it out and put it to one side. At this point, add the red onion to the frying pan using the fat and the oil from the pancetta - add the garlic too (crushed and with still the skin on). Then add the chilli.
Once the onion is caramelised and the garlic and the chilli have a golden colour you can add to the frying pan the plum tomatoes, smashing them with a wooden spoon.
Bring a big pot with water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add a nice amount of salt and pop the rigatoni into the pot.
At the same time, put back your pancetta into the tomato sauce and removed garlic and chilli.
When the rigatoni are still "al dente" (firm to the bite) save some boiling water in a cup , drain the pasta and add the pasta into the sauce.
Use the starchy water that you saved for adjust the consistency of the sauce with the pasta together (do this only if you need, for example if the pasta looks dry!). Handy tip: the starchy water will help to make a creamier, richer sauce and will help the sauce sticky to the shape of the pasta in the 'Italian way'. This all comes from the starch in the water, that was released from the pasta while it cooked in the boiling water.
Toss the pasta constantly on a high hit until the sauce is reduced a little bit and the tomato sauce is sticking to the rigatoni.
Turn the heat off and add a few chopped basil leaves and half of the Pecorino.
Toss again and serve on a pasta plate with the rest of the Pecorino on grated on the top and few whole basil leaves for decoration.