Recipes

Tasting Table DC: BLT Bucatini

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BLT Bucatini

Recipe adapted from The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti (Chronicle Books)

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours roasting

Ingredients

1½ pounds cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 pound dried bucatini or spaghetti

8 ounces arugula, tough stems discarded and coarsely chopped

½ cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

Directions

1. Make the tomatoes: Heat the oven to 275°. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and scatter the garlic over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours, until the tomatoes have collapsed and shriveled but are still moist. Let cool and coarsely chop, reserving some of the accumulated juices. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously. While the water is heating, warm the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta begins to render its fat and turn crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes with their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are heated through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the sauce to keep warm.

3. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate the noodles, and cook until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

4. Transfer the pasta to the frying pan and gently toss with the sauce to combine thoroughly, adding a splash or two of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Add the arugula by the handful and continue to toss until the arugula is just wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the dressed pasta to shallow bowls and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.

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