Rigatoni with Onion Sauce / Rigatoni con Salsa di Cipolla


This delicious onion sauce was served to me by my friend Mario Rogni, who lives in Perugia in the region of Umbria. What made the sauce so memorable was Mario’s homemade lard, but I have substituted salt pork with good results. Use a rigatoni or ziti cut of pasta for this dish, which is cooked ahead of time, then added to the sauce and cooked briefly again as the sauce thickens.


  • 1 pound rigatoni or other short-cut pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 pound lean salt pork, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups hot homemade or canned low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


  1. In a pasta pot with an insert, cook the rigatoni until it is al dente, according to the directions. Drain the rigatoni, transfer to a bowl, and coat them with the butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the salt pork and onion together until the salt pork is browned and has rendered its fat. Sprinkle the flour over the salt pork and onion and stir to blend. Stir in the rigatoni. Pour in half of the beef broth, stirring. Add the cheese and remaining broth, stirring well. Remove from the heat, stir in the pepper, transfer the rigatoni and sauce to a pasta platter or bowl, and serve at once.
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