Rigatoni with Smoked Speck, Cannellini Beans & Tomato


500g rigatoni

200g smoked speck or pancetta, cut into cubes

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped

1 bay leaf

700ml passata

1 400g tin cannellini beans

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

parmesan or pecorino to serve


In a deep, heavy based saucepan tumble in the cubed the speck and place over a medium heat. Stir to ensure that it doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. After a couple of minutes the fat will have rendered and will caramelise. Add olive oil, garlic, chilli and rosemary. Sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Carefully pour in the passata, stirring to combine with all the lovely flavourings in the pan. Add a cup of water and bring to a simmer. I usually leave this to reduce for around an hour, adding more water if needed, however if you don't have the time the sauce will still be flavoursome and rich.

Place and large pot of water for the pasta on the heat, once its boiling add a decent pinch of salt. Cook pasta for around 12 minutes, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Drain cannellini beans and rinse with cold water. Add to the sauce along with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Cook for a further 10 minutes so that the beans absorb some of the beautiful sauce and are tender.

Add the pasta and the cooking water to the sauce. Stir well for 2-3 minutes. The addition of the pasta water will help the sauce stick to the pasta and make it silky.

Serve with extra cracked pepper and a generous amount of grated parmesan.

Sian Redgrave