Monday, June 3, 2013

Bacon and Tomato Penne

My very dear friend Linda recently gifted to me three big bags of bacon. This wasn't just normal sliced bacon, but big, wonderful chunks of bacon in all different shapes and sizes, some of them truly huge. Wanting to do something special with such a wonderful gift, I fried one bag up with some garden-fresh tomatoes that were in my kitchen, just waiting to be put to a noble purpose. When the two combined in this ridiculously simple recipe, the results were remarkable, and are now on the list of family favorites.

4 medium sized, dark red Roma Tomatoes
1 lb thick, smoky Bacon
2 lbs Penne Pasta (or other similar shape)
1 Onion, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced and mashed
Salt and Pepper

  1. Cut the Tomatoes open and scoop out all of the seeds, then chop them into small pieces, about ¼” wide.
  2. Cut the Bacon into pieces two to three inches in length. Fry them all together at once in a large frying pan.
  3. Just as the bacon turns crispy, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.  Drain all but about ¼ cup of the bacon grease from the pan.
  4. Remove the bacon to a cutting board and chop it up coarsely into smallish pieces.  Don’t chop it too fine.
  5. Meanwhile, boil a pot of salted water.  Cook the Pasta until it is al dente, and then drain.
  6. Put the frying pan back on the heat and add in the Onion and Garlic.  Cook slowly just until the onion is translucent, and then add back in the bacon. Season to taste.
  7. When the bacon is hot, add in the tomatoes and cook just until they are hot and starting to soften.
  8. Pour the bacon mixture over the drained pasta and serve with a little grated pecorino.

Notes: Adding in a tiny amount of cayenne pepper with the tomatoes in step 7 can add a nice little zing to the dish.  Tabasco or Tapatío also work.

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