Bucatini with roast tomato & crisp pancetta

There are wonderfully sweet-sharp flavours here and it's a good way to use up any tomatoes that are not perfect enough for salad. Let the tomatoes colour well, you can even let the skins blacken a little, which will add deep smoky notes to the finished dish. This quantity is meant as a side dish for something like grilled lamb or chicken, but you could double the quantities and eat it as a main course. Use thinner pasta, such as spaghetti, if that is what you have around.


Serves 2 with grilled lamb or chicken

Tomatoes – 5 large ones (not beefsteak)
Olive oil
Basil leaves – a large handful
200g bucatini
Pancetta – 6 thin slices


Achieving the perfect results

  1. Slice the tomatoes in half and put them in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Bake them in a hot oven (200°C/Gas 6) for 45 minutes until they are thoroughly soft and well coloured.
  3. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Salt it, and drop in the pasta as soon as it comes to the boil.
  4. Cook the bucatini for nine minutes or according to the instructions on the packet. (Some brands may be very slightly thicker than others and consequently take a minute or more longer.)
  5. Grill the pancetta until crisp. Crush the roast tomatoes with a fork and stir in the torn basil leaves.
  6. Drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the tomato and serve, topped with pieces of the crisped pancetta.

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