Spicy Shiitake and Pancetta Pasta

Pasta is my spirit animal. Or comfort food, take your pick. The weekend sizzle came out in my kitchen to make this spicy Shiitake and Pancetta Pasta. With so many layers of flavor, this is the perfect dish to cook for a date night in. You control the heat by adding in dried cayenne pepper.

This dish can be made with any pasta shape however I recommend staying in favor of a Rigate. You will need those ridges to soak up the sauce as you twirl your fork to your heart’s content. Pancetta is on the salty side so keep a light hand when seasoning or adding salt. A dish to taste as you go. Pour a glass of wine and call it a night in. This is my new favorite.

Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com

Spicy Shiitake and Pancetta Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • ½ Cup Pancetta, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 small red or green pepper, minced
  • 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ Lemon, juice squeezed
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta, Spaghetti Rigate shown here
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Parmesan cheese for topping, shredded
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large and deep skillet over medium high heat with one tablespoon EVOO around the pan.
  2. When skillet is hot, add in pancetta and brown.
  3. Add in mushrooms and toss to coat with oil.
  4. Add in shallot, pepper and dried pepper. Add in cayenne pepper a little at a time and add more into to adjust to your preference of heat!
  5. Once browned and sautéed, scrape mixture into bowl and set aside.
  6. In the same skillet ensure heat is at high and bring chicken broth to a boil.
  7. Once boiling add in pasta and cook per directions minus two minutes.
  8. Add in spinach and cook until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted. About 2 minutes.
  9. Pour back in pancetta mixture and toss.
  10. Allow to cook until broth is reduced. Cover if needed to speed along.
  11. Once cooked, sauce should be creamy.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Place pasta in a large dish and squeeze lemon juice, 1 tablespoon EVOO over and toss.
  14. Salt and pepper to taste. *NOTE the pancetta and chicken broth will already have this dish on the saltier side. Salt with caution.
  15. Serve immediately and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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