Skip to content

Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Butcher’s Pasta

Dario Cecchini comes from a long line of butchers. His family has run the local butcher shop in Panzano, Chianti for 250 years. Dario’s dishes are simple, uncomplicated, and brilliant examples of how to use all cuts of the animal. This is a recipe I created in honor of him. He probably never uses cream-based sauces like we do in America, but you can bet that the meats he uses are perfectly butchered and of the finest quality. Yours should be too.


1 lb. Dry penne pasta
1 gallon Water
¼ cup Kosher salt
1 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil
¼ lb. Pancetta, medium diced
1 lb. Italian sausage links, sliced into discs
¼ cup Shallots, minced
1 Tbl Garlic, minced
1 cup Bolognese (recipe xxx)
1 cup Alfredo sauce (recipe xxx)
½ cup Milk
¼ cup Reserved pasta water
½ tsp Crushed red pepper
Grated Pecorino Romano as needed


Cook the penne according to the directions on the package.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, stirring frequently so as not to burn, until cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Midway through the cooking, add the sausage discs. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, not browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add Bolognese, Alfredo, milk, pasta water and crushed red pepper, stirring frequently until hot.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add hot penne pasta and combine thoroughly.

Divide among 6-8 serving bowls and finish each with grated cheese as desired.

Recent Recipes

Stewed Squid

In a 2 quart sauce pan, heat the oil over medium and sweat the garlic and the crushed red pepper…

Read more

Cinnamon Cream Syrup

This pairs perfectly with Sweet Potato Pancakes. It may be better than the pancakes themselves (and they’re great). But try this recipe on regular pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Read more

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I ate my first sweet potato pancake during my only visit to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My family, along with another couple and their young children rented a cabin in the mountains during spring break. I woke every morning and headed into town for breakfast. I would imagine Gatlinburg has more pancake houses per capita than any place on the planet. My problem is that I never found a good-tasting pancake until I happened across sweet potato pancakes at one of the pancake houses. We serve a version of this recipe at The Midtowner. The Cinnamon Cream Syrup is a must.

Read more