People think that because I write a food blog that I must cook constantly. Well, it is true that I do enjoy getting in the kitchen and making great food for my family. However, if I’m being totally honest, there are days when by dinner time I’m just completely wiped out. Does that ever happen to you? I bet it does! And the last thing you want to do on those days is cook something complicated for dinner. That’s when I’m thankful for simple recipes like this BLT Pasta. This recipe is just bursting with flavor from the crispy, salty bacon, tangy fresh tomatoes and peppery arugula. And comes together quickly so you can have dinner on the table before you know it. It’s even easier if you plan ahead – cook a little extra bacon on the weekend and stash it in the fridge for a week night when you’re just too frazzled to deal with anything more complicated.
You start this recipe by putting on a large pot of water to cook 12 ounces of penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Just a note – I’ve been using Dreamfields Pasta lately and we really like it. I can’t tell any difference in taste and with its lower glycemic index it’s much better for us than traditional pasta. This is not an advertisement for Dreamfields, just an opinion :-)
While the pasta is going, cook 8 slices of bacon until they’re nice and crisp. Drain the bacon but leave 3 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan for the sauce. Crumble the bacon and set it aside. I had some already waiting for me in the fridge the day I made this recipe. So easy!
In the same pan that you used for the bacon, add a chopped red onion, the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until the onion starts to wilt and soften.
Then add the tomatoes and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes. Once the tomatoes have cooked down, add in the half-and-half or cream. I used the fat-free half-and-half in this and it turned out just great. Stir everything together well and cook for a couple more minutes.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan along with the arugula, bacon and basil. Toss everything together. Add a splash or two of the pasta cooking water if you think it’s needed.
Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese. All you really need with this is some nice crusty garlic bread and you have a complete week night dinner!
- 12 oz. penne pasta
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4-5 cups chopped tomatoes (or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
- 1/3 cup half-and-half or cream
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 tblsp. chopped fresh basil (about 10-12 leaves)
- grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the penne according to the package directions. While the penne is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
- In the same pan with the reserved bacon drippings, add the red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until the onion has wilted and begun to soften.
- Add the tomatoes. Stir together well and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
- Add the cream or half-and-half and cook for additional 2 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and add to the pan along with the arugula, bacon and basil. Toss together. Add a splash or two of the pasta cooking water if needed.
- Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.
–Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine
Other bacon and pasta recipes you might enjoy from around the Internet:
- Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon from Recipe Girl
- Pasta with Bacon and Onions from Lottie and Doof
- Fusilli with Tomatoes, Bacon and Blue Cheese from Amateur Gourmet
- Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas from Closet Cooking
What I was cooking…