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Pasta with Pancetta, Burst Cherry Tomatoes & Pagratatto

pasta pancetta

“Simple and rustic pasta dishes like this remind me of my time spent working in Italy and why I fell in love with its cuisine. Never underestimate the power of an easy-to-make and delicious sauce.” – Joseph Carr, Founder, Josh Cellars

Our Pasta with Pancetta, Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Pagratatto recipe can be enjoyed all year long, but we love savoring in-season cherry tomatoes during the summer. The addition of pancetta creates a smoky flavor and complements the notes in our Cabernet Sauvignon. We suggest serving this dish with bucatini, but any long pasta will work well.


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup of rustic breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 pounds of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound of bucatini or other long pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Fresh leaf of parsley, chopped, for garnish


  • To make the pagratatto, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until just aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and toss until well combined. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are nicely browned and beginning to crisp. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat; they will continue to crisp up as they cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add the pancetta; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, shaking the skillet to coat tomatoes in pancetta the fat. Continue to cook until the tomatoes burst, about 10 more minutes. Cook, gently shaking skillet, until the juices and the fat begin emulsify.
  • While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente; drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and tomatoes and toss to combine well.
  • Serve the pasta topped with the pagratatto, freshly grated Parmesan, and some chopped parsley.