Cooking in Quarantine: A Roman Pasta Recipe from Ethan Stowell’s Tavolàta

Comfort yourself and the family with pappardelle all'Amatriciana from chef Roger Harper of Tavolàta

By Tricia Romano


April 13, 2020

It’s going on who-knows-how-many-days of quarantine and we figure that, like us, you are tired of your own cooking. We asked local chefs to share some of their favorite safe-at-home foods to cook during the isolation period. Interested in submitting a recipe? Email [email protected]

“I’m still working, though, primarily remotely now. I am routinely going around to each restaurant to cheer people on and see how things are going. Other than that, my days are filled with planning how best to get everyone back to work as soon as possible. Opening all of our restaurants back up is going to be a huge task and we need to be organized when the time comes.

We are tightening belts where we need to while trying to be smart about finding business where we can. Our primary goal is to keep our team from unemployment and get people back to work. Currently, that means completely changing our business model and offering takeout where it is supported. We currently have our managers and chefs running kitchens at seven properties and I think we will stay the course for the next month. Hopefully, our community flattens the curve and we can return closer to normal operations with the onset of summer. I hope that is the case for our team members, our friends, and our neighbors.

The structure of my days is pretty standard. I get up around 6:00 to take care of my two boys, then I dive into email and get going with my day. We still have active projects in development, so that keeps me pretty busy.

Outside of work, I try to spend as much time with my kids as possible. Their world is turned upside down now, too. They don’t fully comprehend because they’re very young but it’s important for them to understand what’s going on in the world.

At home, I am cooking anything and everything! My kids are eating like kings! I’m home more than usual right now, and my kids are great eaters so I’m having fun with it. Lots of double thumbs up around the dinner table from Adrian and Frank.”

—Ethan Stowell is a James Beard-nominated chef who owns 13 restaurants in the city. He was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in America in 2008. Ethan Stowell Restaurants is running a gift card promotion. All gift cards are 10% off with the code ESR10 or 20% off gift card purchases over $200 with the code ESR20. Gift cards can be found on the website. Seven locations are open for takeout and delivery, including Ballard Pizza Co and Frelard Pizza Co, Rione XIII, How to Cook a Wolf, Mkt., Red Cow and Tavolata Capitol Hill. For more details on hours and delivery options scroll to the end of the post or visit ESR’s website.


“This is Tavolàta’s twist on a classic Roman dish (traditionally made with bucatini pasta). This is the perfect dish for quarantine; like many Roman dishes, this is comfort food at its best. It has just the right amount of spice, balanced by the brightness of the tomatoes. We love the texture of the pappardelle but this preparation will work with most pasta (orecchiette or Campanella will also work well).”—Ethan Stowell


  • Measured for pasta for 4 people
  • ½ lb pancetta (or bacon), cubed
  • 1 ea red onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 cups or three 16oz cans, crushed tomatoes
  • 3T picked oregano
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup ground pecorino
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Start by rendering out your pancetta over medium-low heat, being careful to crisp but not burn the pork. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon; then add the red onion, garlic and a pinch of salt.

Use the onions to pull the crispy bits left from the pork off the bottom of the pan. After the onions have softened up add the canned tomatoes and reduce by one-third over low heat.

Be sure to stir often, paying special attention to the bottom corners of the pot.

In a separate pot cook your desired pasta shape until it is almost fully cooked. Drain then add to the sauce. Bring to a simmer then add butter, herbs, and half the cheese. Stir constantly until the pasta is finished cooking and the sauce is tight and not pooling. Add back in the pancetta and plate, finish with the rest of the pecorino and the best olive oil you can find.

Ethan Stowell: “We are open for takeout in 7 locations currently: Details and links can be seen here:”

  • ESR @ Home: enjoy full meals designed for two or more people (or the savvy solo diner who wishes to stock up and have leftovers for the next day). Select locations will have three meal packages available that range from $40 to $55 per package. Menus are updated every week and current menus can be found on each restaurant’s homepage or when ordering online.
  • Tavolàta Capitol Hill: Takeout 7 days a week from 5 pm to 9 pm. Orders can be placed via the website. Curbside pickup is available. Delivery is offered via Grubhub.
  • Rione XIII (Capitol Hill): Takeout 7 days a week from 5 pm to 9 pm. Orders can be placed via the website. Curbside pickup is available. Delivery is offered via the app Grubhub.
  • Red Cow (Madrona): Takeout 7 days a week from 5 pm to 9 pm. Orders can be placed via the website. Curbside pickup is available. Delivery is offered via the app Grubhub.
  • How to Cook a Wolf (Queen Anne): Takeout 7 days a week from 5 pm to 9 pm. Orders can be placed via the website. Curbside pickup is available. Delivery is offered via the app Grubhub.
  • Mkt. (Tangletown/Wallingford/Green Lake): Takeout 7 days a week from 5 pm to 9 pm. Orders can be placed via the website. Curbside pickup is available. Delivery is offered via the app Grubhub.
  • Pizza Delivery: Ballard Pizza Co. and Frelard Pizza Co offer takeout and delivery 7 days a week from 4 pm to 9 pm. Takeout features curbside pickup as an option with no signature required for online orders placed through the website. Delivery is offered via the apps Caviar, UberEats, and Grubhub.
  • Wines To Go: All four of the ESR wines are available for take away from Tavolàta Capitol Hill, Mkt., Rione XIII, Red Cow, How to Cook a Wolf, Ballard Pizza Co., and Frelard Pizza Co. We will also be featuring a rotating selection of discounted wines starting at $15 per bottle. Purchase by the bottle or case. Please note case purchases may require 24-hour notice to guarantee availability. Order online and pick up curbside with no signature required. The person picking up must have a valid ID to prove they are 21 years of age.

Photography by Peachy Juban-Notter

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