Between work, travel, and house guests, I haven’t been in the kitchen as much as usual. I did, however, make this pasta which has become one of our favorite dishes as well as one of the most frequently cooked meals in our house. It is simple to put together and so delicious. It combines three of my favorite flavors: bacon, onions and tomatoes. Great for a casual dinner in front of the tv but good enough for company.
This recipe was inspired by an Alice Waters recipe I came across years ago. Although I have pretty liberally adapted this and made it my own, it is in keeping with her style. Most of you have already seen this on other food sites, but for those of you who have not- I encourage you to watch this 60 Minutes piece on Alice Waters. It is a really nice profile of one of my heroes. It is particularly exciting in light of the vegetable garden that is being planted on the White House grounds.
Pasta with Bacon and Onions (serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 7 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 10 whole canned tomatoes, drained and chopped)
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 12-16 ounces penne pasta
In a medium saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook until browned and the fat is rendered. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
To the fat in the pan, add the onion. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and stir. Add the white wine and cook for a minute or two until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and a generous amount of salt (a teaspoon or so?). Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and basil and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and add to the finished sauce. Toss pasta and sauce and serve topped with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.
*** Just use recipe as guidelines, feel free to adjust as you like. I sometimes use more or less tomatoes, other herbs, etc.. This week I even made it with some canned crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes and it was still delicious.