Cacho-e pepe pasta with pancetta and arugula


450 g. pasta in the form of cock scallops or other short pasta2 tbsp. olive oil150 g. diced pancetta1.5 tsp. coarse black pepper2 tbsp. finely grated parmesan, extra (optional) for decoration1 tbsp. grated pecorino cheese30 g. butter, room temperature3 tbsp. coarsely chopped arugula


Boil salted water in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the pasta and simmer for 2 minutes less than the instructions on the package (about 8 minutes). Remove to a colander, reserving 1.5 tbsp of the cooking water for the pasta.Meanwhile, heat a large straight-edged frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Fry, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the bacon is crispy (about 10 minutes). Add peppers and roast, stirring frequently, for about a minute or until fragrant. Pour in 1/2 tbsp. of the reserved water from cooking the pasta and scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.Add the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan. Pour in another 1/2 tbsp. of the remaining cooking water and stir to coat all the macaroni with cheese. Add the pecorino and butter. Stir to combine everything together for a light creamy cheese sauce.Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Pour in more leftover water from boiling the pasta if necessary to maintain a light consistency in the sauce. Serve with additional grated parmesan, if desired.


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