I had a version of this dish at a fantastic restaurant, Bacari, in Los Angeles this summer, and it inspired me to try it at home. Although there are several recipes available for turmeric spaghetti, I like the simplicity of this version. I decided to use Pecorino instead of Parmesan. While I like both flavors, I really like the sharpness of the sheep’s milk cheese in this dish. It plays beautifully with the earthy turmeric. I also like using a cylindrical pasta instead of spaghetti. The turmeric, cheese, and cream seep into every nook and cranny. Definitely a keeper!

Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use again during the week, to mix into veggies or dollop over fish or chicken.


  • 1 pound rigatoni or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the rigatoni according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil, melt the butter in a pan large enough to hold the pasta over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the olive oil, shallot ,and garlic and stir until lightly golden and bubbly. Add the turmeric and stir to incorporate about 16-20 seconds.
  4. Whisk in the half-and-half bring to a simmer.
  5. Whisk in the Pecorino or Parmesan.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Gently mix until the pasta has a silky consistency. Add more pasta water as necessary.
  7. Garnish with parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, and a shower of grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.