Penne otero (Sal Maniaci's signature pasta dish)
A splash of brandy enhances the rich, savory flavor of classic tomato sauce. Dig in!
Chef Sal ManiaciSapori Ristorante
, Newport Beach
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1 tbsp. butter
2 oz. pancetta, diced (or bacon)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Basic tomato sauce (whole recipe, about 4 cups)
Salt, to taste
1 (16-oz.) box penne pasta
Splash of brandy
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add pancetta. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add crushed red pepper and tarragon leaves. Sauté for another minute and add tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat. Meanwhile, heat water to boiling in a large pot; add salt and penne pasta. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain well and return to pot. Add part of the sauce and the splash of brandy to the pasta and combine. You can always add more sauce as needed if the pasta is too dry. Serve in individual dishes and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Any extra sauce can be served in a bowl at the table for guests to add as desired.