Pepper and Pancetta Toriglioni | From Italy to Iran: Con Amore! (Viva Italia!)

Tortiglioni Pancetta closeup of Pasta Pepper Italian food on beautiful floral pattern china

Check out the gorgeous china! I covet these, Francesca! I covet!

Hi all! This glorious pepper and pancetta toriglioni pasta concoction is a yummy guest post by my treasured Italian friends Francesca (who wrote the recipe and the story) and Stefano (who did the photography.)

Many of you fellow bloggers already know and are fans of this talented Italian power couple, but for those of you not in the know, borrow two feet in addition to your own two feet (rough translation of a Persian saying, ha ha) and run and check out their food (authentic Italian cuisine & riveting storytelling), wine (reviews and inspired pairings – Stefano is a certified sommelier) and photography (outstanding nature and wildlife shots) blogs. I was already entirely “in like” with Francesca and Stefano as bloggers (I just really dig their vibe, you know, Italians and Iranians do share many cultural sensibilities believe it or not) and then we met in person and since, I’m just smitten and kookoo crazy about them with admiration and affection and can not say enough good things about them.

How we met in real life is that one Polar Vortex winter night, they threw a dinner party in their beautiful home, which ended up being a blogger’s summit of sorts! Of the 8 of us present, 6 were bloggers: Francesca, Stefano, Suzanne, Anatoli, and Oliver and me. Shockingly, none of us blogged about our get-together! But I must break the silence! Here’s a blurry Gif of a few snapshots of the evening. The 1st pic is the chic table setting in the dining room & the last pic is the kitchen in the final aftermath of the festivities!


The statistical breakdown of the dinner party:

1 cheerfully elegant home. 2 hosts. 6 guests. 3 food bloggers. 3 wine bloggers. 2 blog-tolerating civilians. 4 lawyers (only 2 currently practicing.) 2 American-born Americans. 6 accented-Americans. 1 excited puppy. 1 adorable princess. Tons of lip-smacking appetizers and delicious food. 100 bottles of various types of wine (only slightly exaggerating.) Countless good memories. Immeasurably divine hospitality. One fabulous, fabulous evening!

And with that, I finally give you the divine Francesca! (The most tenderhearted and warmest introvert I ever did meet! And oh, one more thing, do go and check out this wonderful gem of a book that Francesca recommended. It is one of my favorite readings – intriguing, delightful, elegant and cool. Basically: just like Fransesca herself!) 

Tortiglioni Pancetta closeup of Pasta Pepper Italian food on beautiful floral pattern china

Pepper and pancetta tortiglioni

I have been lucky enough to get to meet Azita in person a few months ago. I don’t remember how we found each other on the blogosphere but I remember how I felt at the beginning of our “relationship”… cautious.

I have always been a big introvert and extremely good at keeping my distance from people – a huge disappointment due to a friendship that fell apart a couple of years ago didn’t help, and actually ended up making me even more skeptical, if possible, when it comes to meeting new people, either in person or over the internet.

However, when I started reading Azita’s posts, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the cheerfulness, the lightness and the language richness of her writing style.

There is no doubt that her country, culture and culinary traditions are fascinating in and of themselves, but she is astonishingly capable to write about them in such an articulate and eclectic way that every time I read one of her posts I have the impression of reading one chapter of “One Thousand and One Nights”, where flavors, aromas, perfumes and ancient customs all blend in together to give birth to something magical. (Editor’s note: Blushing! Stop! No, go on! Ha ha! Thank you!!!))

When I was about to meet her in person, I was nervous. I’m always nervous when I have to meet new people. It is simply not my thing! 😉 As soon as she stepped into my house, she came toward me and she hugged me and kissed me as if we had known each other for years. I will never forget that hug. Why? The warmth that her hug gave me as a human being was totally unexpected and yet so refreshing and fulfilling!

When I had to pick the dish to be published on Azita’s wonderful blog as a guest post, I immediately went for a pasta dish with peppers. Why? Well, I’m Italian and pasta is one of the emblems of my culinary tradition. So no doubt there! 🙂 The reason I picked peppers is because I think they represent Azita in her fullness. Their color is so vibrant that they bring cheerfulness and happiness in your life as soon as you look at them and their taste is so strongly flavorful and overwhelming that as soon as you eat them your taste buds are literally pervaded by their richness the same way I was by Azita’s hug that Sunday afternoon.

So from Italy to Iran – one way – with love! (Editor’s Note: Viva Italia! And the love runneth deep and runneth both ways!)

Tortiglioni Pancetta Pasta Pepper Italian food Italy to Iran Love

Ingredients graphic icon illustration black and whiteFor 2 Servings

  • 2 peppers
  • 4 oz, chopped pancetta
  • 1 leek
  • 4 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
  • 6/7 oz, pasta of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp, grated Parmigiano cheese
  • four/five thyme stalks
  • Ground black pepper
  • salt Direction graphic icon illustration black and white


Preheat your oven to 400F. 

  1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Rinse the peppers under cold water, dry them and place them on a baking sheet (I always put some parchment paper on my baking sheet to be sure that nothing sticks 🙂 ). Bake for about 20 minutes (or until the peppers are cooked), take them out of the oven and, with the help of a knife and fork, remove the skin of the peppers.
  2. In the meantime, cut off the green top of the leek and its root. Discard the outer layer. Cut the leek in half lengthwise. Rinse the halves well under water. On a chopping board, slice the leek thinly and evenly. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil, add the leek slices, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat. Add some water and stir occasionally until the water evaporates. Set aside.
  3. In another skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of oil, add the pancetta and fry, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta gets golden and crispy. Set aside.
  4. Put a large pot of salted water over the stove to boil. While the water is warming up, place the peppers, the leek slices, some thyme leaves and 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a blender or a food processor. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and blend everything until you obtain a smooth sauce. Transfer the sauce to a pot and warm it on a very low heat.
  5. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and put it in the pot where you warmed the sauce and toss to coat. Add the pancetta and toss to coat.

Serving Ing graphic icon illustration black and white

Put the pasta into the serving plates, dust the top of each plate with some Parmigiano cheese and garnish the plate with some thyme leaves.


Francesca Xx

Sophia Loren young lingerie pasta quote

“Everything you see I owe to pasta!”


Grazie mille for the lovely guest post caro Francesca! And now, I plan to go and make and eat your pasta dish so that I can commence to resemble Sophia Loren.

Arrivederci dear readers until next!


52 thoughts on “Pepper and Pancetta Toriglioni | From Italy to Iran: Con Amore! (Viva Italia!)

  1. OH WOW, so glad that you blogged about our wonderful evening, I feel remiss that I didn’t. It was wonderful and I LOVE the guest post from Francesca who I love and I am in awe of her culinary skills, and love her blog. Ciao Francesca, I really loved the party it was wonderful and you and Stefano and the Princess and the pup were wonderful hosts. Thanks Azita for doing this.

    • Ciao Suzanne! Thank you so much for your kindness. That night was fantastic and I think we should get together again … sooner than later. 😉 So you can see how Sofia has grown! Plus I still “owe” you a … secret recipe! 😉

      • I really hope we can get together really soon, it was a wonderful evening and your hospitality was so warm and inviting it was like seeing a close friend not someone I have never met in person. Thank you for that and I do so want that secret recipe.

  2. Reblogged this on apuginthekitchen and commented:
    I have to reblog this, it was such a wonderful night that I didn’t blog about and I am so thrilled that Azita did. I LOVE Francesca and Stefano and everyone that was there and I wanted to share this great pasta recipe with you from Francesca (Floras Table)….

  3. What a beautiful and thoughtful post. I love the same things about you and I totally identify with Francesca’s reluctance to let people in. I”m extroverted, but very careful about getting to know people. Lovely recipe and photos. I love that she uses peppers to represent you. <3.

    • Hello Amanda! Thank you for your nice words. I think you used the right word! Careful … there is nothing wrong about being careful with people you just met. According to my experience, it is the only way to avoid huge disappointments.

      • Belated but have to pipe in to say that Francesca is the kindest & warmest introvert I’ve ever met! We have to persuade you to join the mix Amanda. And trust me you guys, I’m an introvert too, I’m just a social and noisy one! ;D xoxo & love

  4. You all look so happy. I am also a big introvert and that is why I like writing and deliver my affection through good not words. I will definitely look out for the book as I am a huge fan of food history.

    • I know exactly what you mean and you are definitely most expressive through your writing which I enjoy immensely. ❤

  5. Azita could not have selected a better guest to host for her and did you deliver, Francesca. This pasta dish is just the way I like them: flavorful and fast. I cannot wait to try this!

  6. That’s awesome guys! It seems that you had great fun, blogging is not just a sharing recipes! I can imagine that that pasta was scrumptious, we all know how talented Francesca and Stefano are! Peppers and pancetta is a great mix for pasta!

    • I was skeptical about relationships formed online but I’ve been thoroughly and pleasantly surprised by the strength and quality of friendships formed this way. (Your acquaintance included!)A huge perk of blogging!

    • I hear you, dear Flora, I’m finally getting round to responding to some comments but should have had lunch first, because this post is making me so HUNGRY too! I wish I could munch some of it off the screen.

  7. Fantastico, Francesca! Affarin, Azita! What a lovely gathering in an ‘Italian power couple” home. The only other person I know is ever so wonderful Suzanne. Thank you for posting about it Azita. Dear Fancesca, as always, you have delivered a yummy recipe, and Stefano’s photography is always a pleasure to look at. Magnificent! ❤

    • Memorably fun! Added a wonderful IRL dimension to reading everyone’s blogs that’s for sure. It was a pleasure meeting you and your better 1/2!

  8. A fantastic evening spend with food bloggers, loved ones & amazing people! The kitchen looked huge, the table was set so lovely & the pasta dish looks wonderful! Cool pics too! x

  9. Oh, I love this post so, so much! I feel like I’m looking at photographs of old friends, despite the fact that we’ve never met in person. Thanks for sharing the wonderful images and sentiment Azita, and to the lovely Francesca – your guest post is so warm, genuine and beautiful. I feel encouraged in spirit whilst also drooling over Stefano’s wonderful photography! Oh how I wish I lived close enough to invite you all over for a dinner party! Xxx

      • Francesca, i know you already know this, but Laura has such a lively temperament and exquisite taste, that a party with her would be nothing short of heavenly. Let’s all close our eyes and wish for it to happen and maybe it will! 🙂 xo

  10. Pingback: From Italy to Iran with love: Pepper and Pancetta Tortiglioni | Flora's Table

  11. For me nothing is more satisfying than a DELICIOUS bowl of creamy pasta & this recipe looks just like that. Thank you.

  12. And about your complement on Azita & her blog you nailed it. Unfortunately I haven met her in person but your description is exactly how I had imagined her to be. In fact I’m not a blogger by any means but when accidentally which I don’t remember how (sorry) I found her, beside the beauty of her illustrations, and ease of navigation through her blog it was her way of writing that mesmerized & captured my attention. So I hope one day we get to meet too.
    Till then thank you Azita joon.

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