Pasta With Bacon, Onion & Fresh Tomato Sauce

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4 ounces pancetta or guanciale, cut into cubes, or 4 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup sliced onion

1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh vine-ripe tomatoes, preferably Early Girl or other thin-skinned types, cored and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

1/2 cup canned tomato puree or 1/4 cup tomato paste (optional)

1 pound bucatini or perciatelli pasta (see Note); if unavailable use rigatoni or penne rigate

-- Kosher salt and lots of black pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan in a pinch) + more to serve

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