Bacon and tomato pasta

17 Jun

Rain or shine, winter or summer, this is happiness. Another one of our favourite family pasta dishes, thanks to its simplicity and ease.

We love all things tomato, but this is a nice variation of all’Amatriciana (minus the pork cheek) or arrabbiata (plus bacon). The ground chili pepper flakes spreads the heat evenly — we could still feel a happy burn it in our esophogus an hour later.

Steamy, spicy, chewy, viscous. It’s lovely. The sauce looks sparse, but the tomatoes break down nicely and starchy pasta water keeps the sauce loose, coating every strand. Using less than a pound of pasta helps keep it from tasting bland.

BACON AND TOMATO PASTA
Adapted from Guy Fieri
4 to 6 servings.
2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta (closer to 3/4 of a box instead of the whole thing)
1 pound thick-cut bacon or pancetta, chopped
up to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground red chili flakes (if using flakes, increase to 1 to 1 1/2 tsp)
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 cups Roma tomatoes, diced (or more)
1/4 cup red wine (or white)
4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil water and cook pasta.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon and saute. Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and remove 3/4 of the bacon fat from the pan. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onions, and red chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, add garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes, then deglaze with wine.

Drain pasta and add to the tomato mixture pan. Add basil and bacon. Toss with Parmesan, and add salt and pepper, to taste.

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