April 10, 2022

Easy weeknight pasta – Walter’s 5 ingredient Rigatoni

FILED IN: Recipes, Savory

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Walter here! I’m taking over Corey’s blog today to share my favorite pasta dish! I am not the best cook, but this 5 ingredient easy weeknight pasta is so easy to achieve at any cooking level. The fact that Corey likes it and she asks me to prepare it often, must mean something! It is a very simple dish suitable for any season, which is exactly the feature that makes it so appetizing and special. Ready in just a few minutes with great satisfaction once on the table, it’s also easily customizable –– you can add or remove spices, veggies, meat or other ingredients depending on what you’re in the mood for or have on hand. Even the type of pasta used can be vast for this easy weeknight pasta: from rigatoni to spaghetti, from penne to farfalle, whatever one prefers.

easy weeknight pasta ingredients

Easy Weeknight Pasta Ingredients

3 servings

  • About 300g rigatoni (or pasta of your choice, we love rigatoni because the sauce gets inside the tubes) note on amount below
  • 1/2 shallot, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • About 100g guanciale (can also used pancetta), in Italy these usually come in individual packages around 100g but may be 125g instead, feel free to use the entire package! The guanciale acts as your oil/fat for cooking the onions & garlic. If you want to make this vegetarian, just put your oil of choice in place of the guanciale!
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered (or 8 about cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half)
  • 350g passata (or jarred tomato sauce) + water to get excess sauce from bottle note on this below
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • 3 turns of the pepperoncino roso (red pepper) mill, or to taste if you want it spicier
  • burrata, optional
easy weeknight pasta ingredients


  1. Start a pot of water to boil. Salt water. Cook pasta as directed on the package. We like to make enough for leftovers, but also can eat all of this between us 2 sometimes. Note: We portion out our pasta by pouring it into the dish we will be eating out of. Remember: the pasta will grow in size a bit.
  2. Add 1/2 sliced shallot, roughly chopped garlic clove and pack of guanciale to a pan on medium heat.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add quartered tomato or around 8 cherry/grape tomatoes halved and cook for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add about 350g passata. Note: Be sure to add a bit of water into the bottle, shake and add to the pan. You’re making sure to get all of the goodness that is left. We usually do this twice.
  6. Add a bit of salt and sugar.
  7. Add 3 turns from the pepperoncino roso (red pepper) mill or more if you would like it spicier. You can also use pepper flakes, but don’t overdo it.
  8. Let the sauce cook down on low heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until it’s a good consistency.
  9. When your pasta is done cooking, drain the water, then pour pasta into sauce (still in the pan). Mix together. Serve and enjoy. Note: Add burrata if you’d like some creaminess! This is Corey’s preferred way of eating this pasta!

Looking for more pasta recipe inspiration?


  1. […] Walter’s Rigatoni […]

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Growing up near Pasadena, CA, my creativity blossomed as I delved into the LA food scene, food styling, photography, and storytelling. Now, I curate content centered around food, beverage, and travel, while indulging in hobbies like thrifting. Italy holds a special place in my heart, where I found love and embarked on a new chapter in Bologna. Join me on this creative journey of food, travel, and love.