Spaghetti al Fumo

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 46 ounces smoked pancetta
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 peperoncini (red chili peppers), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 ounces light or heavy cream
  • 6 ounces vodka
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti or penne
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet over mdium heat, add the olive oil, and then the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper.
  3. Either finely chop the pancetta or pass through a meat grinder or food processor. When the garlic is lightly golden, raise the heat and add the pancetta. After a minute or two, add the vodka and cook together for a minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cream and cook for about minutes over medium heat.
  5. Remove the garlic and rosemary. Add salt, to taste.
  6. Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package recommends). Drain and add to the cream sauce. Mix together for about a minute. Add a bit of the pasta water if it seems dry.
  7. Serve immediately, topped with a spoonful of Parmigiano.

Ed's Review

Inauguration Day is upon us and I am going to do exactly what I have been doing during the entire election season: bury my head in pasta. That's right, while the rest of the country is either rejoicing or mourning, I will be promoting the only agenda that I know will unify and make peace: Sunday Pasta. Dang, even John Podesta and Vladimir Putin could enjoy a bowl of pasta together.

This week's recipe hails from Cortona, the historic hill town on the Tuscany-Umbria border. Legend has it that a Cotonese chef first made the dish at the restaurant Tonino. It has become a local classic. (A special grazie to Simone Ricci (from my fave Malaparte in the West Village) for the recipe.)

As for the Inauguration, let's just all agree that this week's Sunday Pasta is delicious thing to be shared with family and friends.

p.s. Julian Assange, if you're watching, please Wikileaks this week's email.

Buon Appetito!


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