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Red and Green Pasta - Bacon and Onion Sauce with Romanesco or Broccoli

Red and Green Pasta - Bacon and Onion Sauce with Romanesco or Broccoli


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • About 1/3 pound pancetta or guanciale, cut into small dice

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced

  • Black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine

  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces)

  • A few leaves of basil, torn

  • Salt

  • 1 pound fat spaghetti, such as bucatini, perciatelle or pici

  • 1 head Romanesco (pointy, light green broccoli) or broccoli, cut into small florets (about 3/4 pound), trimmed

  • Grated Pecorino Romano (tangy and salty) cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano (nutty) cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat and render the pancetta or guanciale, 2-3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and black pepper and stir for 7-8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for a minute more. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth or wine; add the tomatoes and basil. Break up the tomatoes; reduce the heat and let simmer.

Salt the boiling water and drop the pasta. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes more. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water and drain the pasta and broccoli. Combine the pasta and the broccoli with sauce and add starchy cooking water as necessary to combine. Add in a handful of cheese and serve.