Pancetta, Spinach and Tomato Bucatini with Garlic Bread Crumbs


I came across this recipe at “Cuisine at Home” magazine and thought that it will be a perfect weeknight meal. This delicious pasta takes so little time to make. Italian bacon ( pancetta) gives this dish a unique flavour and texture. This dish is very simple: Begin by cooking the pasta. I used bucatini, but you can use spaghetti or anything you have on hand. Prepare the garlic bread crumbs. It’s a perfect topping for this dish, crunchy and garlicky. Then, sauté the little bits of pancetta until the fat has rendered and the bacon has started to slightly brown. Then throw in the cherry tomatoes and beautiful leaks. Cook until tomatoes begin to brown and the leaks are wilted. Pour in a little wine and let it evaporated. Add the broth, vinegar and pepper flakes. Let it cook a little bit and reduce by third, then add spinach, fresh thyme, pancetta pieces and toss it with cooked pasta. Sprinkle with garlic bread crumbs. After I took a picture I sprinkle some Parmesan shavings which was a great addition. Check our the recipe below!

Serve 2-4
Predation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

For garlic bread crumbs:

  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 cup French bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

For pasta:

  • 1.5 oz pancetta, diced ( or use 4 slices of bacon)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz dry bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme ( or a pinch of dried thyme)


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil for bucatini. Mince garlic for the bread crumbs in a food processor. Add cubed bread, and process until coarse. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat; add crumbs and toast until golden, 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Sauté pancetta or bacon for the pasta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp, then drain pieces on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Caramelize tomatoes and sugar in the drippings over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes tomatoes begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add leaks to in now- empty pan; sauté until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Deglaze skillet with wine; simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add the broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Simmer until liquid is reduced by third, about 5 minutes.
  4. Cook bucatini in boiling water according to package directions. Add spinach, thyme, and bacon pancetta pieces to sauce. Transfer cooked pasta from cooking water to the skillet using tongs. Toss to coat with sauce. Divide pasta between plates. Sprinkle pasta with bread crumbs before serving.


14 thoughts on “Pancetta, Spinach and Tomato Bucatini with Garlic Bread Crumbs

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