California Central Coast Recipes

Spaghetti with Pancetta, White Onions and Red Pepper Flakes

Some like it hot! And if you do, our Spaghetti with Pancetta, White Onions and Red Pepper Flakes is for you!

It may be innocent-looking but watch out! It sure carries a real kick! Some of our friends think almost too much to handle, so be sure to gauge your audience well and if need be, tone it down a bit by adding less red pepper flakes. It's a very simple and easy dish to throw together and has a very nice taste thanks to good Turkish Bay Leaves rather than our California variety.

Another thing great about this recipe.. -especially if you have a little left-over, it makes an outstanding Next-Day Frittata for another meal! ©2017, Spaghetti with Pancetta, White Onions and Red Pepper Flakes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 to 3 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Large White Onions , finely sliced and segments separated
2 to 3 Cloves Garlic , chopped
2 Bay Leaves , broken in halves
3 ounces Pancetta , cut into slivers
1/2 to 1 teaspoons Red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

8 ounces Spaghetti

Preparation Directions.

1 Add the Olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium-low heat until warm. Add the White onions and cook until slightly softened. Add the garlic and the bay leaves and continue to cook until the onions are very softened and the garlic and bay leaves fragrant.

2 Add the Pancetta and distribute well throughout the onion mixture. Cook for three to four minutes.

3 Add the Red pepper flakes and the Salt and correct the seasonings to personal tastes. Remove from heat but keep warm.

4 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente or according to the pasta package. Drain the pasta and add to the Onion-Pancetta mixture tossing well to distribute the Onion-Pancetta mixture throughout the pasta. If the sauce is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of pasta water and mix well. If needed, return sauced-pasta to heat and spike up heat a bit -one to two minutes, then remove from heat.

5 Serve on dinner plates accompanied by a nice salad.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This recipe can be quite hot, but since the onions add a bit of sweetness, some acidity in the wine complements the pasta very well. But look for low tannins because the hot pepper will intensify the tannin tastes.

If you like this recipe HOT as we do, a wine good choice for is a cold white wine like a dry Riesling or Fume Blanc.

On the other hand, a low tannin slightly tart red like a Valdiguie also work quite well.

A tip from Sue!

Mark perishable ingredients

When ever you bring home a brand new spice, oil, vinegar, flour, sugar or other perishable ingredient, mark the bottle/container with the day’s date with a felt tip pen. Most "permanent markers" will write on just about any container.

That way if you don’t use it very much, but it’s been opened, you know how fresh it is. For an important meal don’t “submarine yourself” by using past expiration ingredients that have long lost their fresh taste and flavor.