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My Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT) Pasta has all the elements of the classic sandwich combined with penne pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It can be on your table in 30 minutes!
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 it 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 weeknight when you’re just too frazzled to deal with anything more complicated.
How to Make BLT Pasta
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.
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 the chopped red onion, 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 weeknight dinner!
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup half-and-half or cream
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil about 10-12 leaves
- 4 tablespoons 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.
- Use any tube style pasta you like for this recipe. Ziti, rigatoni, even rotini work great.
- Start cooking the sauce when you put the pasta water on to boil. The pasta will be ready at about the same time as the sauce. Big time saver!
- If you have leftover bacon, feel free to use it. Otherwise, start your sauce by cooking the bacon and draining all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat from the skillet.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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