Pappardelle with Spicy Tomato and Pancetta

Pappardelle with Spicy Tomato and Pancetta (Pappardelle alla Maremmana)

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a comforting and flavorful dish – Pappardelle alla Maremmana – with tender pappardelle noodles enveloped in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with savory pancetta and aged Pecorino Toscano.

This dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire 🙂

Pappardelle with Spicy Tomato and Pancetta (Pappardelle alla Maremmana)

Recipe by Luca at Italian Cooking and LivingCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Pappardelle alla Maremmana is a classic Italian pasta dish featuring wide ribbons of pappardelle bathed in a savory, spicy tomato sauce. Tender pancetta adds depth of flavor, while aromatic basil and aged Pecorino Toscano cheese elevate the dish.


  • 1/2 lb (225 g) pappardelle

  • 3 cups strained, canned plum tomatoes

  • 1/2 lb (225 g) slab spicy pancetta, diced into medium cubes (about ½")

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 large cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 2/3 cup Pecorino Toscano, grated

  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 10 basil leaves, torn

  • Salt


  • Brown diced pancetta in a deep sautĂ© pan with olive oil.
  • Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.
  • Incorporate strained tomatoes, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.
  • Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes over low heat.
  • In a separate pot, bring water to a boil.
  • Cook pappardelle in boiling water until just before al dente.
  • Transfer pasta to the saucepan with the sauce.
  • Cook over medium heat until pasta is done.
  • Add torn basil leaves to the pasta.
  • Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Toscano cheese.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


  • Don't overcook the pasta: Cook the pappardelle until just shy of al dente, as it will finish cooking in the sauce, ensuring the perfect texture.
  • Be mindful of the pancetta: Cut it into uniform cubes to distribute flavor evenly throughout the dish.


Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones for the sauce?

Absolutely! Using fresh tomatoes can enhance the sauce’s flavor, but make sure to peel and seed them before adding to the recipe.

What can I substitute for pancetta if I can’t find it?

If you can’t find pancetta, bacon can be used as a substitute. However, the flavor may vary slightly. Read about the differences between bacon and pancetta.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

Yes, you can omit the pancetta to make it vegetarian-friendly. You can also add mushrooms or other vegetables for extra flavor.

Can I freeze the sauce?

Yes, you can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Allow it to cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I add other herbs to the sauce besides basil?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with other herbs like oregano or thyme to customize the sauce’s flavor.

Should I use a specific type of Pecorino Toscano cheese?

Any aged Pecorino Toscano cheese will work well for this recipe, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute it with Parmesan cheese.


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