• 2kg tomatoes - cherry, plum or ordinary - roughly chopped
  • 250g smoked bacon, cut into strips, or cubetti di pancetta
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 500g bucatini
  • 200g pecorino, grated


  • STEP 1

    Put the tomatoes into a food processor in batches and whizz to a fine pulp. Sieve into a large pan, in batches again, pressing through as much tomato as you can with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced by a third to about 700ml. This homemade passata can now be frozen.

  • STEP 2

    Put the bacon or pancetta into a cold, large, heavy-based frying pan. Place over a medium heat – the fat will slowly melt and the bacon will cook. Add the whole chillies (don’t worry, they come out at the end) and cook for 8-10 mins with the bacon until the bacon is sizzling and golden all over. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta, then drain well. While still hot, tip it into the sauce, sprinkle with most of the cheese and stir well. Remove the whole chillies, dish the pasta onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.


The salty pecorino cheese and smoked meat should mean there is no need to add extra salt. The chilli will add heat, so you may not need pepper.

Goes well with


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