January 30, 2012

Bacon, Arugula and Tomato Pasta

Kind of like a BLT...
We had bought a package of baby arugula for another version of lentil soup I had planned to make last week, but the weather has been so mild here in DC that soup just doesn't sound appealing. There was also a partially used package of bacon lurking in the fridge and I thought, if I add a can of diced tomatoes to these two ingredients, we practically have a BLT! I threw a little bit of ricotta salata on top and a delicious pasta dish was born.

Bacon, Arugula and Tomato Pasta
Serves 4


3/4 lb fusilli (penne would also work well)
1/2 lb bacon, cut into half inch pieces
1 onion, diced
15 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I was just trying to use this up, you could certainly omit it)
5 oz container baby arugula
4 oz ricotta salata or other cheese (cubed fresh mozzarella would be great)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt generously. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet. When it is crisp, remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add the onion to the bacon fat and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice to the onion; season with salt and pepper. Gently simmer for a couple minutes and then stir in the heavy cream. Reduce the heat to low.

4. Transfer the cooked pasta and the arugula to the skillet. Toss to combine and wilt the arugula. Add the ricotta salata and stir. If it is a little dry, add some of the pasta water. Taste for seasoning.

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