Pasta e Patate

Serve 4-5 people


  1. 1.1 pound (500 gram) pasta such as Maccheroni Rigati, Penne Rigate, Rigatoni , Pennette Piccanti 
  2. 1 pound (about 2 pieces) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  3. 2 oz pancetta, thinly sliced and coarsely chopped
  4. 1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 quarts water
  7. Sea salt to taste
  8. Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  10. 1-1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a small stockpot that will eventually hold everything. Add the pancetta and gently sauté until it is light gold in color. Add the onion and stir well. Lower the heat and cook the onion until it is translucent but not too soft.
  2. Add the water and stir well. When the water comes to a simmer, add 1 teaspoon salt and the cubed potatoes. Stir well and cook for about 10 minutes. (Control and try if potatoes are cooked, then you can go to the next step)
  3. Add the pasta and you can add more water only if needs, just enough to cover everything and from now keep stirring regularly until the pasta is cooked (otherwise it will attach on the bottom). During this time the pasta will release extra starch so it will get thicker, so keep adding hot water if it’s needed, personally I like it creamy but not excessively thick. Cooking time according to the instructions on the pasta package then taste for salt. Correct it as needed, but remember the pecorino cheese will be salty – be careful. When it is done, the potatoes should be soft but not mushy and the pasta should be al dente. Scatter on the chopped parsley and mix well.
  4. Serve it in hot bowls or soup plates. Grind on plenty of black pepper and sprinkle plenty of pecorino cheese on top.

Shopping list:

Maccheroni Rigati

Penne Rigate

Pennette Piccanti