Tomatoes need a little extra love during winter. This pasta uses them in two ways: first melted into the pancetta drippings for a saucy base, then sautéed until gently blistered with the kale and garlic. Vary the green depending on what you have on hand; shredded Brussels sprouts, chard, or spinach would work. Orecchiette ("little ears" in Italian) have a catcher’s mitt shape that’s ideal for holding the crispy bits of pancetta. You could also use whole-grain shell pasta or rotini.

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Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
25 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.

  • Chop 1 cup tomatoes. Halve remaining 2 cups tomatoes. Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove pancetta from pan with a slotted spoon. Add chopped tomatoes to drippings in pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add halved tomatoes, kale, garlic, rosemary, pepper, and salt; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup reserved cooking liquid; cover and cook until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and pancetta. Add remaining 1/2 cup cooking liquid, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to thin sauce. Top with cheese and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

380 calories; fat 15g; saturated fat 5g; protein 16g; carbohydrates 50g; fiber 7g; sugars 5g; sodium 575mg.