Spicy Rigatoni al Carbone: A Delicious Taste of Southern Italy
If you’re a fan of spicy Italian pasta dishes, then you’re sure to love Spicy Rigatoni al Carbone. This dish originated in southern Italy and is named after the carbonari, or charcoal workers, who used to make it for lunch using charcoal grills. Today, it’s a popular dish across Italy and the world, known for its bold and spicy flavor.
The key ingredient in Spicy Rigatoni alla Carbone is guanciale – a type of cured pork jowl that’s similar to bacon, but with a richer, meatier flavor. The guanciale is diced and cooked until crispy, then combined with onion, garlic, and Calabrian chile paste for a fiery kick. The tomato purée and heavy cream come together with the pecorino Romano cheese to create a rich and creamy sauce that perfectly coats the rigatoni.
One of the best things about Spicy Rigatoni alla Carbone is that it’s a quick and easy meal to make, perfect for busy weeknights. And the best part? You can customize the spice level to your liking by adjusting the amount of Calabrian chile paste – so whether you like your pasta with a subtle kick or a fiery blast of heat, this dish is sure to satisfy.
Whip up a batch of Spicy Rigatoni alla Carbone tonight and transport yourself to the sunny shores of southern Italy. Buon appetito!
Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Spicy Rigatoni al Carbone
Choose the Right Pasta
For this dish, rigatoni is recommended. Its large size and ridges help to hold onto the thick sauce, making each bite more flavorful. You could use other large pasta shapes like penne or ziti, too.
Don’t Overcook the Guanciale
Guanciale adds a rich, salty flavor to the dish, but only if it’s cooked properly. Be careful not to overcook it, or it will become too crispy and lose much of its flavor.
Adjust the Spiciness to Your Liking
Calabrian chile paste can be quite spicy, so taste as you go to adjust for your preferred level of heat. If you’re not a fan of spice, you can omit it entirely.
Use Good-Quality Tomato Puree
Since there are only a few ingredients in this recipe, it’s essential to use good-quality tomato puree to achieve a rich and flavorful sauce. You can use either canned or homemade puree.
Be Sure to Coat the Pasta Well
It’s essential to ensure that the rigatoni is well coated in the sauce. This not only enhances the flavor but also prevents the pasta from sticking together.
Add Cheese Gradually
When adding pecorino Romano cheese to the sauce, be sure to add it gradually, stirring constantly to prevent it from clumping. This step should be done over low heat.
Save Pasta Water
Reserve some pasta cooking water before draining the pasta. Adding it to the sauce helps to loosen and thin it out, making it easier to coat the pasta evenly. Only add it a little bit at a time, until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.
Serve Hot and Fresh
This dish is best served immediately while it’s still hot and fresh. Reheating can cause the pasta to become mushy and lose its texture.