In a true sign that end days are nigh, my family all sat around the dinner table last night eating the same meal. I swear, miracles never cease.

I wasn’t sure I would get away with making only one dinner. I thought for sure I’d hear moans and groans if not full-force wailing and a flat-out refusal to eat. I was thus in shock when we actually shared a Sunday dinner together. (Full disclosure: I hadn’t actually fed them a meal since breakfast so they probably would’ve eaten roadkill if that’s what I had put on their plates but I’m still totally considering this a win.)

The pasta itself was pretty simple—it’s basically a riff on the always-classic Amatriciana—but I managed to create a more sophisticated version for me and my husband simply by adding some fresh herbs and ricotta salata. The mint takes this to another level… don’t leave it out!

Pasta with Pancetta and Cherry Tomatoes

Pasta1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A cup or so white wine

For the grownups:
Fresh mint, torn or finely chopped
Fresh basil, torn or finely chopped
A chunk of ricotta salata


Render the pancetta in a drizzle or so of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until transluscent. Add tomatoes and garlic, and cover pan so tomatoes burst. Add wine. let alcohol burn off then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Cook pasta and drain (reserve a mugful of pasta water before draining). Add pasta to pot with sauce and toss to coat.

Serve the kids pasta topped with Parm or plain. For the grownups, top pasta with mint and basil, and shave ricotta salata over everything.


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