Sweet cherry tomatoes, bright pesto and fresh pasta are heightened with the help of guanciale in this easy, seasonal pasta dish.
by Addie Ladner | photography by Liz Condo
“We’re all about using all cuts of the meat here,” says Alimentari at Left Bank chef Issac Shuman of the use of guanciale in his go-to summer pasta dish. Guanciale, a cured pork jowl they make themselves at Alimentari, is the foundation of this dish. It adds depth of flavor, fat and texture to the classic pairing of sweet tomatoes and bright pesto over pasta — a simple, flavor-packed recipe for your repertoire this summer. Find all the ingredients to make it at Alimentari.
Guanciale Pesto Pasta
1/4 pound guanciale, cut into lardons
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 pound fresh made spaghetti
1 cup of pesto
3 to 5 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Cracker pepper to taste
In a nonstick pan, cook the guanciale on high heat until the fat is rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the guanciale, but do not drain the pan. Cook the garlic and tomatoes in the fat until the garlic is translucent, fragrant and golden, then add the tomatoes. Cook until blistered on the edges and melting slightly. Meanwhile, good the spaghetti in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta, or according to package directions. Add cooked pasta to the pan with the tomatoes and garlic. Then add the pesto, a little at a time. Gently toss together, then add the guanciale back in. Finish with a generous amount of pecorino and fresh basil on top.