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Spaghetti with Tomato Conserva, Pancetta, and Pecorino

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Serves 6

In this version of the classic Italian pasta dish spaghetti all’Amatriciana, tomato conserva delivers deeper tomato flavor than canned tomatoes. If you can get guanciale (cured pig cheek), try it instead of pancetta for more pronounced porkiness.

MY NOTE: I think this would be quite good if the tomatoes were good.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced fatty pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 cups Tomato Conserva, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 oz. finely grated aged Pecorino
  • Romano (2 cups using a rasp grater)
  • 1/2 cup packed whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the conserva, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water and toss to combine. Add the pasta and cook, tossing, until al dente, 1to 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low and add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, half of the pecorino, and the parsley. Toss, adding more pasta water, if needed, to loosen the sauce. Season to taste with salt and serve sprinkled with the remaining pecorino.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 620, Fat (kcal): 33, Fat Calories (g): 290, Saturated Fat (g): 7, Protein (g): 17, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19, Carbohydrates (mg): 64, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3.5, Sodium (g): 990, Cholesterol (g): 25, Fiber (g): 6,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Spectacular! Will definitely be making this again.

Absolutely fabulous. More than the sum of its parts. Perfect marriage of sweetness of conserva with saltiness of pancetta and pecorino

We made this as an excuse to use our new pasta roller/cutter. Amazing! Had just returned from a trip to Italy and I have to say it was comparable to some of the wonderful pasta dishes we had there!

This little meal has made me a superstar in my home. My picky husband and toddler gulp it down!! I added onions and fresh basil instead of parsley (as I will never understand the meaning or worth of parsley). It is so so very yummy.

Wow!! This is awesome! I made this for 2, so I pretty much halved the recipe although I probably had about 3#s of tomatoes: heirloom & red "home grown" from the farmer's market. Had leftover conserva which was great, because I cooked too much pasta so now we can have it for lunch tomorrow. Tomatoes probably cooked the full 6 hrs. Coarsely chopped the cooked tomatoes & garlic. Used the olive oil from the tomato pan to cook the pancetta. Don't care for Romano so used a Parmigiano Reggianno.Flavors were so rich with a little heat from the peppers. Had a Montupoli Montepulciano D'Abruzzo ($10) that was PERFECT with the pasta, but any decent Montepulciano would work. The wine definitely enhanced the flavors of the pasta. Will be making this all summer with those luscious ripe tomatoes! Only change I might make is to have a little extra crisp pancetta for a garnish, but it really isn't necessary - kind of gilding the lily!

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