This simple rigatoni dish was inspired by my little brother, who lived in Rome for many years. His favourite part of life in Rome was when a bit of pancetta or guanciale from a pasta alla Gricia would find its way inside a piece of rigatoni.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (25 votes)


  • 500 g dried rigatoni
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp dry white vermouth (optional)
  • 150 g pancetta, cubed or cut into lardons
  • grated parmesan cheese, to serve
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it well. Add the rigatoni and cook according to the packet directions (but for one minute less).
  2. Meanwhile, heat a very large frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and zucchini and cook the zucchini for about 4 minutes or until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and pancetta and fry for another 2 minutes or until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the Noilly Pratt, if using and toss to combine.
  3. Drain the rigatoni, reserving a little of the pasta water and transfer to the pan with the zucchini. Add about 60 ml (¼ cup) of the pasta water and toss to emulsify the pasta with the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter liberally with parmesan and black pepper.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.