Pasta with chilli, bacon and tomato sauce

This spicy, richly flavoured pasta dish is super quick to make. Use pancetta if you can’t find the cured pork cheeks.

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  • 130g/5oz guanciale (cured pork cheeks), cut into small cubes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 hot dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 500g/1lb 2oz San Marzano tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 400g/14oz bucatini pasta
  • 80g/3oz pecorino, freshly grated


  1. For the sauce, put the guanciale and onion in a pan with the oil and chilli, and fry gently for about 4-5 minutes. Add the white wine and tomatoes and cook for a further 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until al dente. Strain the bucatini and mix with the sauce. Serve sprinkled generously with the freshly grated pecorino.

Recipe Tips

Bucatini is a large spaghetti-type pasta with a hole down the middle, which makes it easy to cook. You should use guanciale, cured pig cheek, although you could substitute the less tasty pancetta. Use pecorino cheese here rather than the posher (and dearer) Parmesan.

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