When returning from a trip or a long day at work, my significant other and I love to cook an easy pasta dish that we can rely on. This pasta is comforting and restorative for the world-weary. The recipe actually comes from a misunderstanding by my boyfriend of a classic Italian recipe, but by misreading the ingredient list we came up with something we both love and have continued to make on a regular basis. Leave out or cook the pancetta separately for a vegetarian-optional meal. —sarahschuster
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. When it begins to shimmer, add bell pepper and cook until softened a bit and browned in spots, 3-4 minutes.
Add the hot peppers and pancetta, if using, and sauté for a minute or two until the pancetta has rendered to your liking.
Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, another 30 seconds.
With the pan still on medium high heat, add wine to the pan to deglaze. Let the wine reduce for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates. Season with salt + pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Cook your pasta to your liking and after draining, add some olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Spoon sauce over pasta in bowls and serve with plenty of shaved parmesan cheese.