Guanciale Pasta with Baby Tomatoes
In my recent trip to the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco, I found multiple fun toys and tasties to try out – one of them was something called Guanciale that I picked up at Boccalone, a store that sells “Tasty Salted Pig Parts”, according to the sign. It wasn’t there last time I went to the Ferry Plaza – which, admittedly was over a year ago, and I can’t really recall what store they replaced, but whatever it is, can’t possibly have been more deserving, because this place totally rocks.
Mr. Man and Miss Thing were given a choice tonight of whether they wanted Pork Tenderloin or a Pasta/cured pork dish – and of course, Miss Thing and Mr. Man both wanted the pasta. I swear they would eat cured pork products for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let them. Although tomorrow, it’s definitely tenderloin. Both the tomatoes and the leek came in this weeks FFTY box, and turned out excellent with the Guanciale Pasta.
When I was slicing the leeks, I decided to try out my new Mandolin on them (that I used to make a delicious Mint Cucumber Apple Salad to go with it). Unfortunately, the leeks didn’t really hold together very well for slicing with the mandolin – mostly because I had to slice it down the center to clean in between the layers, which caused it to try and slide all apart on the mandolin. The mandolin did okay, but not great, and I gave up when it was about halfway and just finished it with the knife.
If you don’t happen to have Guanciale, you can use Pancetta, proscuitto, or even just regular ol’ bacon – but you do want a salted pork produce that will render a tablespoon or two of fat to form the basis of the flavor for the pasta. I used a whole wheat pasta, but regular pasta will work just as well, and if baby tomatoes aren’t available – just dice up one or two larger tomatoes. Also, if leeks aren’t available, an onion would probably work just fine.
- 13 oz Thin Spaghetti; (I used Whole Wheat)
- 8 oz Guanciale; cut in to 1″ pieces
- 4 oz Baby tomatoes; cut in halves
- 1 leek; thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/2 cup Fresh Basil; finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- Kosher Salt
- Water for cooking the Pasta
- Bring a large covered pot full of salted water to boil and heat a large skillet over medium-high heat
- Add the Pasta to the boiling water, cover and reduce heat – cook until al dente (I cooked the pasta while I cooked the Guanciale et al)
- Add the Guanciale to the Skillet and fry until golden brown and cooked thoroughly
- Add the Leeks and saute until tender
- Add the garlic and the tomatoes, and heat until tomatoes are just heated through
- Remove from heat
- Add the pasta and the basil to the skillet, toss to combine
- Serve immediately.