Bucatini is my favorite dried pasta. Nice and thick—about twice as thick as spaghetti—,it has a wonderful texture that allows a sauce coat each tube perfectly. Although bucatini can be difficult to track down, I was fortunate enough to spot some at Eataly. The traditional method of serving the pasta i is all'Amatriciana, and I decided to go a similar route with the tomato sauce and pancetta, but it being the beginning of spring after a long, harsh winter, I couldn't resist tossing in some blanched fava beans for good measure. The beans added wonderful texture and color to the buttery tomato sauce and al dente pasta.
Bucatini with Pancetta, Fava Beans, and Tomato Sauce
- 2 lbs fava beans, shelled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 lb pancetta, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup simple tomato sauce (I used Marcella Hazan's)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 lb bucatini
- grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the fava beans with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of ice water. Once cool, peel off the skins of the beans and set aside. Keep the water at a boil.
- Add the bucatini to the boiling water and cook for one minute less than the package suggests.
- While the bucatini boils, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let it cook until it is fragrant, about one minute. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the fava beans and taste for seasoning.
- Drain the pasta and stir it into the simmering sauce. Let the pasta and sauce cook for another minute, stirring to ensure that the pasta strands are coated by the sauce.
- Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.