I started making this pasta long before I learned to can. It's a great way to use up a mass produce, and it's as versatile as can be. It can be frozen, eaten hot or cold and used as a bruschetta topping, too.
Don't have pancetta? Use bacon. Forgot to get capers? Leave them out. And if there's something else in your fridge that makes sense, go ahead and throw it in. That's the beauty of a "whore's style" sauce: most anything goes.
Note: Stop short of the full cooking time when preparing the pasta. After it's drained, finish cooking it in the pan, tossed the sauce. It allows the flavors to meld.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces finely diced pancetta
- 16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved if they’re large
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup pitted, sliced kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces to 1 pound dry linguine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Combine olive oil and pancetta in an 8- by 13-inch glass baking dish. Place in oven until pancetta is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, onion, capers, garlic, olives, vinegar, sugar, and lemon zest and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return mixture to oven to cook until tomatoes are completely softened, about 30 minutes. Stir and return to oven until tomatoes are wrinkly and lightly burnished, about 10 minutes longer.
When sauce is cooked, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Snap linguine in half and cook according to the package directions, draining pasta 30 seconds before the shortest cooking time listed (typically at about 9 1/2 minutes). Return pasta to its original saucepan. Add sauce, stir to combine and finish cooking for about 30 seconds over medium-high heat. Serve family-style or plate individually, finishing pasta with basil.