Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a large, non-reactive bowl, combine the tomatoes and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, stir gently with a wooden spoon, and set aside.
On a clean cutting board, mince the garlic and prosciutto or pancetta together to make a homogenous, paste-like mixture. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the garlic and pork mixture. Cook it gently for 4 to 5 minutes, until it is translucent but not browned. Remove from heat, add the chili flakes, stir well to combine and set aside.
Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package instructions, until tender yet al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the drained pasta into the pan with the garlic-pork mixture and the tomatoes and toss over high heat for 1 minute, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to bring the sauce to desired consistency and dress each strand of pasta. Remove from heat and divide among 4 warmed pasta bowls.
All recipes copyright 2000, Mario Batali. All Rights Reserved.