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Every bite of this summery tomato pasta is studded with bites of crispy pancetta.

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Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
20 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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Every cook needs a great pasta sauce in their back pocket, and this cherry tomato version is worthy of the honor. You'll start the sauce by rendering cubes of salty pancetta, so the fat infuses every bite of the sauce. To this you'll add thin sliced garlic and the cherry tomatoes, which burst and sizzle in the pan. Mashing just a few of these is what allows the sauce to stick together, while keeping some tomatoes for juicy explosions as you eat. Linguine is a good choice for its thicker width than spaghetti, and a generous shower of parmesan and basil adds instant depth of flavor. The result? A pasta dinner that is just eight ingredients and still tastes incredible.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Drain pasta and return it to pot.

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  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Add pancetta; cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and pancetta is crispy, 8 to 9 minutes.

  • Add oil and garlic to skillet; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and salt; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until some tomatoes have burst and tomato skins soften, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Using a wooden spoon, lightly break and mash about a third of tomatoes to release their juices further.

  • Add tomato mixture, cheese, and ¼ cup reserved pasta water to pot with pasta. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until sauce clings to noodles, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more pasta water if needed. Remove from heat. Add basil and stir to combine. Serve with more basil and cheese.

Nutrition Facts

646 calories; fat 20g; cholesterol 26mg; sodium 1077mg; carbohydrates 93g; dietary fiber 6g; protein 23g; sugars 9g; saturated fat 7g.
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