Creamy BLT Pasta
"This is a great way to spend that leftover bacon! I make this the day after I cook off a pound of bacon for a weekend brunch. I bake my bacon and since only 3/4 of a pound will fit in tray of broiler pan, I am often left with 5-6 slices to use up during the week.
Tip: I use tomato paste in a tube so I never have the waste from transferring canned product to a small container in which left over paste spoils quickly. Still, once the tube is almost gone, if you cut it open, there is a whole tablespoons or more left inside to scrape off and use up so don’t just chuck it when it’s almost gone." - Rachael
- 1 pound penne or other short-cut pasta with lines
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 to 6 slices lean, thick-cut good quality bacon, sliced across into 1/2-inch thick sticks
- 3 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 1 round tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 5.4-ounce package Boursin cheese or 1/2 cup crème fraiche combined with 3 tablespoons minced mixed herbs such as thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once at a full rolling boil, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add bacon and brown to crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add leeks and garlic, and season with pepper. Stir a few minutes to soften then add tomato paste and stir a minute more; add wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and put a lid on the pot. Let the tomatoes burst, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cheese, reduce heat to low.
Reserve about 1/2 cup starchy cooking liquid just before draining pasta, then drain and add pasta to sauce. Add the bacon back in and toss, using starchy water to combine. Adjust the seasoning of pasta to taste, serve in shallow bowls topped with Parmesan cheese and garnished with tomatoes.
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