Roman Holiday Pasta

Friday, November 9, 2012

While our trip to Italy - yes, pictures soon - was not as fancy as Audrey Hepburn's, it was delicious. This is copied from a delicious pasta we had in Rome. We were headed to the Vatican for the afternoon and we stopped at this little cafe that only had one option for lunch- this pasta. That's it. One thing. And it was amazing. Thomas and I each downed a huge bowl. It couldn't be easier to make, so I'll tell you how!

-Extra virgin olive oil
-2 fresh pears (yes, I know there are three pictured)
-Pecorino Romano cheese (we only had parmesan here. When I do it again, I will make it with the Pecorino, but parmesan still works great.) Please do not use the canned stuff. I promise, the deli price will be worth it!
-5 slices of thick bacon, the best you can get
-Penne pasta

Quantities are for two people, but this is great for just one or for a whole crowd.

1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. For the two of us, I used less than half a box (1/2 pound). It was more than enough.

2. While it boils and cooks, cut your pears into small chunks- nickel sized.

3. Cut your bacon before you cook it- also into nickel sized chunks {the goal is to have pear, pasta, and bacon all on your fork, without looking like a mess while eating}. I found it easiest to do with kitchen shears.

4. In a large saute pan, cook your bacon. This won't take long. Just before it is done, add your pears, a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and a quarter cup of grated Pecorino. Stir and let it cook for maybe 2 minutes or less. Don't cook the pears too much. Turn off the heat.
Update: if your pears are fully ripe and already very soft, I would NOT throw them in the skillet! They might get too mushy. Just toss them with your pasta after everything else is done. I still like my pears a little firm, so I cook them, but it's up to you!

5. Drain your cooked pasta. Toss your pasta in the pan, adding some more cheese. You want a little melted cheese flavor. Stir all of the ingredients.

6. Separate into bowls and layer in your pasta with more cheese, to taste.

Eat with your eyes closed, and pretend you're in Rome.

Pears seem a little weird for pasta, but the unexpected freshness and flavor makes this easy pasta great for a lunch. The Pecorino (the cheese the dish was served with in Rome) is worth finding. We were able to find it at our local grocery store. It is similar to parmesan, but makes a slightly non-traditional flavor. The freshly grated taste makes all the difference.

Channel some carbonara and add some pepper. There are a million ways to spin off this dish. Make it into something heavier and entree-like with some grilled shrimp or chicken. Even beef, if you're brave. At the least, have fun mixing up your pasta routine!


  1. Lauren I LOVE this blog!! Especially the title lol. May I follow?

    1. Of course you may follow! Please do!

    2. Then I will oficially follow you!! Feel free to follow mine too if you wish.

  2. I'm now pondering my next trip to the mainland and trying to work out where I could find that cheese...

    1. I would think that Tesco would have it. It looks like parmesan- hard cheese that usually comes in wedges. Look up Pecorino Romano on Wikipedia- some are quite devoted to the cheese!

  3. Wow! My mouth wants to have a party and invite this flavor combo to come rock out!!! ;) I love pastas and this sounds like something I've never tried before but would fall absolutely, head-over-heels in love with. Thanks so much for sharing :)


    1. This may be the most delightful food comment I have ever read. :)