Penne a Modo Mio (My Way)

Penne a Modo Mio (My Way)

This recipe is a combination of two famous Italian dishes: Penne all’ Arrabbiata e Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, for both the origin is the Italian region of Lazio and to be more precise Rome and Amatrice. The original recipes use canned peeled tomatoes and pecorino romano or pecorino di Amatrice; I use for my sauce fresh tomatoes, bacon instead of guanciale (difficult to find a good one in the US) and Parmigiano-Reggiano (pecorino di Amatrice almost impossible to find it in the US). I do not measure the ingredients for this recipe as it is my own, and I do as I like at the moment adding or reducing them to taste.

Cooking time around 20-40 minutes.

Serving 4 people


  1. 1 pound of dry penne – around 500 gr
  2. 1 table spoons of virgin olive oil
  3. ½ medium onion finely minced
  4. From 2 to 4 chili peppers
  5. From 3 to 4 thick slices of smoked bacon (good quality), this can be changed depending on taste
  6. 1 can (28 ounces) of San Marzano peeled tomatoes or the equivalent of fresh cherry tomatoes (my preference) and both will be crushed while cooking, and depending on taste add or reduce
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino to taste


  1. Slice the onion and the bacon, crush the peeled tomatoes or slice in two the fresh cherry tomatoes (see picture)
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  3. While water is boiling prepare the sauce in a large skillet over a medium heat:
    1. add olive oil  
    2. add onion and bacon until onion is golden (do not overcook)
    3. add chili pepper, do not break them so they can be easily removed later if necessary
    4. mix to combine and cook for 3 minutes
    5. if peeled tomatoes crush them before tossing them into the pot
    6. add peeled or fresh tomatoes, reduce the heat after 10 minutes, add salt to taste
  4. When boiling add salt to taste, add pasta and cook following package instructions, stir occasionally, but be sure to keep it al dente (do not overcook, don’t cook more than 11 min)
  5. keep cooking until pasta is ready (al dente) meanwhile crushing the tomatoes
  6. When pasta is al dente, drain and transfer it into the sauce  
  7. Mix pasta with the sauce, add Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino (save some for garnishing) and finish cooking for about 1 minutes
  8. Serve immediately garnishing the dish with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino on the side
  9. Buon appetito (enjoy your meal)

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25 Apr 2020

By Vito Russo