ORECCHIETTE WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE, GUANCIALE & ROBIOLA
This very simple to make, but delicious pasta dish is very similar to the famous amatriciana, but instead of tomatoes we are using our roasted bell pepper sauce.
The sauce starts with rending guanciale, which is the cheek of the pork, but you can also use pancetta or smoked bacon.
We are using orecchiette pasta, but you can surely use your favorite type of pasta instead.
There is one ingredient though that we don’t suggest changing: Robiolina cheese. It’s a very creamy, soft cheese from the North of Italy. Of course, you could use ricotta, camembert, or brie, but there is nothing quite like the flavor of Robiola.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time of Preparation: 10 min
- Time of Cooking: 25 min
- Doses for: 4 people
- 1 bag (500g) orecchiette pugliesi or the pasta of your choice
- 1 can (800g) roasted red pepper sauce
- 2 x ½ inch slices of guanciale, cut in ¼ inch strips (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano plus a little more for finishing touches
- 1 table spoon of cow's milk robiola
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- A hand full of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (cut in thin strips)
- Extra virgin oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté the guanciale: In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, add the cut guanciale and sauté until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Remove the guanciale from the pan and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Keep the fat in the pan.
- Pour in the roasted red pepper sauce and let it simmer gently for a few minutes to heat through and blend the flavors. Add half of the basil leaves. Keep the rest for garnish.
- Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.
- Combine the pasta and sauce: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the roasted red pepper sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce until well-coated. Add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some of the reserved pasta water gradually until you reach your desired consistency.
- Turn off the heat and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir until the cheese melts.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Make it fancy! Take a pasta-bowl, scoop the Robiolina cheese onto the side of the plate. With the back of the spoon, gently spread the cheese in a back-and-forth motion, starting from the center-top (12 o’clock) and moving downward to the center-bottom (6 o’clock) in a half moon shape.
- Plate the pasta in the middle of the plate, making sure to not cover the Robiolina.
- Finish with some more Parmigiano Reggiano, the remaining basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and of course the crunchy bits of guanciale.
- Buon appetito!