Serves 4


  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 tsp. Calabrian hot chili paste or 1 red jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups (about 1 pound) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 San Marzano tomatoes (from 28-ounce can), drained and passed through food mill, or 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan, grated, for serving


Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and pancetta is crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.

Add chili paste and garlic to pan and sauté until garlic softens, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and tomato pulp and cook until cherry tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved pancetta.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook orecchiette until almost cooked through but still a bit chalky in the center, about 9 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer orecchiette to skillet with warm sauce. Cook over medium heat, tossing frequently, until pasta is cooked through, about 1 minute. If needed, add spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen sauce. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, grating Parmesan over top to taste. Pasta sauce also can be made up to 1 hour ahead of pasta. Rewarm sauce over medium heat before adding cooked pasta.


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