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Playing Red and Green Pasta - Bacon and Onion Sauce with Romanesco or Broccoli


  • 1/4 cup EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • About 1/3 pound pancetta or guanciale, cut into small dice
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fat spaghetti, such as bucatini, perciatelle or pici
  • 1 head Romanesco (pointy, light green broccoli) or broccoli, cut into small florets, about 3/4 pound trimmed
  • Grated Pecorino Romano (tangy and salty) or Parmigiano-Reggiano (nutty) cheese


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat EVOO over medium-high heat and render pancetta or guanciale 2-3 minutes. Add onions, garlic and black pepper, and stir 7-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir a minute more. Deglaze the pan with vermouth or wine; add tomatoes and basil. Break up tomatoes, reduce heat and let simmer.

Salt boiling water and drop pasta. Cook 3 minutes then add broccoli and cook 5 minutes more. Reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water and drain pasta and broccoli. Combine pasta and broccoli with sauce and add starchy cooking water as necessary to combine. Add in a handful of cheese and serve.