Easy Cast Iron Rose Rigatoni with Crispy Pancetta & Sage

Can you really go wrong with an amazing pasta dish? This classic one-pot, rose sauce Rigatoni, will be an all-star in any dinner you host and it tastes just as great as leftovers. Scroll down to read more and find the recipe.


Cast Iron & French Oven cookware - quite possibly my favourite kitchen items to use to cook my best meals. I have recently been gifted a beautiful Cast Iron Cocotte in a colour called “White Truffle” (I mean, can it sound any more perfect?).

When I started my cooking journey, I was incredibly intimidated by French ovens. They’re heavy and I was constantly worried about dropping them. But as I continued to use them, I discovered how easy they make cooking the heartiest and most delicious meals. One of my favourite things about them is the fact that they make meat juicier and not dry out! Plus, I found I didn’t actually have to move it much anyway, besides cleaning and potentially serving from it. Finally, the clean up is simple—they’re dishwasher friendly if you don’t have time to hand-wash!

Now that I’m a regular French oven user, I picked up the most beautiful ingredients from my neighbourhood farmer’s market to make an Italian meal. See below for my recipe of a Rose Rigatoni with Crispy Pancetta & Sage.


Rose Rigatoni with Crispy Pancetta & Sage

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Serves 4


  • 4 cups of Rigatoni pasta

  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream

  • 200 grams of diced Pancetta

  • 100 grams of thinly sliced Pancetta

  • 8 Roma tomatoes quartered lengthwise

  • Grapeseed oil

  • Salt ‘n pepa

  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 shallots, finely diced

  • 8 Crimini mushrooms, chopped

  • Tomato paste

  • Duck fat (if preferred)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • 2 stems of Sage

  • 3 stems of Basil, thinly cut into ribbons

  • Ground Parmesan

  • Red wine or lemon juice



  1. On a baking sheet, line the sheet with a piece of parchment paper & turn the oven on to bake or convection bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  2. Spread the Roma tomatoes & 2 cloves of garlic, smashed by a knife and loosely chopped, on the sheet. Drizzle Grapeseed oil & season with salt ‘n pepa. Mix thoroughly

  3. Add the sheet of tomatoes into the oven, leave for 30-40 minutes, mix occasionally

  4. When there is about 10 minutes left for the tomatoes, boil a pot of water & salt for pasta

  5. In the cocotte, add about a tablespoon of duck fat & let melt on medium high heat. When the fat has melted, add the diced Pancetta. Cook till golden & set the Pancetta aside for later.

  6. Using the same oil, add the shallots & garlic, cook till golden brown.

  7. Add the chopped mushrooms, sprinkle a little bit of salt to get them to soften quicker.

  8. Take the sheet of tomatoes out of the oven & add them into the cocotte.

  9. Turn the heat up to high and stir & crush the tomatoes in the cocotte, once you see them browning, add a splash of red wine and reduce the heat back to medium.

  10. The pasta should be al-dente, reserve a half cup of pasta water in a heat-proof cup. Drain the rest of the pasta & add to the cocotte.

  11. Add about 4 tablespoons of tomato paste & butter into the cocotte, stir thoroughly.

  12. Add the pancetta back into the cocotte. Mix lightly.

  13. In the cup of pasta water, add half a cup of heavy cream. This will prevent it from curdling over the heat.

  14. Add a quarter cup of the pasta water + cream mixture into the cocotte. Mix slowly.

  15. Add the cream+ pasta water mixture till you’ve made enough sauce. Sprinkle the sliced basil and gently mix. Remove the cocotte from heat.

  16. In a separate pan (I used a Ballarini Bologna Granitium 24cm Frypan), add the thin slices of Pancetta (without oil) and heat up till crispy. Once crispy, remove and set aside.

  17. Using the Pancetta oil & a little bit of vegetable oil, lightly sear sage leaves till they’re solid, keep flipping them as they can burn quickly.

  18. Plate the rigatoni & add pancetta & sage on top. Voila!

with love,




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