BLT Bucatini is one of my very favorite pasta dishes – one that makes use of pancetta (bacon), arugula (lettuce) and cherry tomatoes: BLT.
I like to make this using thick bucatini pasta, but feel free to use any type of pasta you like.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, roasted (see instructions below)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb. pancetta, chopped into small, quarter-inch cubes
- 1 lb. dried bucatini (or your favorite pasta
- 1/2 lb. arugula/rocket leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated or shaved Pecorino-Romano cheese
- salt and pepper
- Begin by preparing the tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275 F. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet (rimmed, to catch the juices) or pan. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil over the tomatoes and scatter the garlic slices on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast the tomatoes for 2-3 hours until the they have collapsed and shriveled a bit, but are still moist and juicy. Allow to cool and use immediately, or store in a container in the fridge for up to a week. You can do this step ahead of time and put the tomatoes aside for use later.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- While the water heats, warm the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta.
- Saute the pancetta, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes, until it has rendered its fat and has turned golden and crispy.
- Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan with the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until heated through. Turn the heat off and cover the pan to keep the pancetta-tomato mixture warm.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan with the pancetta and tomatoes and gently toss the pasta and sauce to combine thoroughly. If necessary, add a splash or two of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce a little. Add the arugula and continue tossing for a minute or so, until the greens are just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the pasta onto individual plates or bowls and serve with sprinkled, shredded or shaved Pecorino-Romano cheese on top.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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