647-352-3347 Open 7 days 1745 Queen St E, Toronto ON
647-352-3347 Open 7 days 1745 Queen St E, Toronto ON

Kale, Tomato, and Pancetta Pasta

Courtesy of TIME Health

 Kale, Tomato, and Pancetta Pasta

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 sauteed until gently blistered with the kale and garlic. Vary the green depending on what you have on hand; shredded Brussels sprouts, chard, or spinach will 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 pasta or rotini.

This recipe yields 4 servings (serving size: about 1.5 cups)


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat orecchiette pasta
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 3 ounces prediced pancetta
  • 4 cups chopped stemmed lacinato kale
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

How to Make it

Step 1:  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander over a bowl; reserve 1.5 cups cooking liquid

Step 2: 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 of cooking liquid, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to thin sauce. Top with cheese and pine nuts.

Serve immediately.