Spaghetti with Baked Tomatoes, BG & Pancetta

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins

380g Spaghetti
150g Italian Guanciale (cured jowl bacon) or Smoked Pancetta (cured pork belly)
100g Cherry tomatoes
4 cloves peeled black garlic
1 sprig of Thyme
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiano or pecorino, grated to taste
Salt to taste

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on an oven tray lined with baking paper, then sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, some thyme and some grated cheese. Bake the tomatoes at 200°C for about 20-25 minutes.

Dice the guanciale or smoked pancetta into small cubes or stripes. Heat up 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and stir fry the black garlic cloves. As black garlic is softer than normal garlic, the cloves will slowly dissolve in the olive oil. Once the garlic and the oil are combined in a slightly creamier sauce, add the guanciale and brown it on low to medium heat until crispy.

Boil the spaghetti in a pot of salted water.

Tip: It’s very important that the spaghetti are al dente and not overcooked: make sure to drain them 1 to 2 minutes before the cooking time suggested on their packaging.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and stir-fry them over low heat until they’re thoroughly combined with the guanciale and the oil sauce.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and add them to the pasta; make sure to add also the tomato juice that will be covering the bottom of the baking tray.

Serve warm, topped with some thyme leaves or grated Parmigiano.

We would like to thank Fiorenza of My Pinch of Italy  for allowing us to share this recipe and her images on our website.

Fiorenza is the author of the blog and you can find more of her recipes with black garlic here.