By Lori Powell
With the hope that spring is actually on its way I turn to food that incorporates fresh herbs and veggies. However it is still winter so I am bridging the gap with a BLT pasta for one.
The combination of bacon, lettuce and tomato is undeniably a delicious combo and can take many forms. There is even a cookbook named simply The BLT Cookbook by Michele Anna Jordan.
Who doesn’t like bacon? Apparently a lot of us do – otherwise, why would there be so many bacon-of-the-month clubs? And who knew there were so many flavors...peppered, applewood-smoked, honey, BBQ, some made with heritage pig breeds such as Berkshire, Tamworth or Duroc. Yummmm!
Last week I did a play off the flavors in a sandwich with avocado. This week I’m doing a twist on the classic BLT as a pasta, with bacon as the “B,” basil as the ”L” (instead of lettuce), and grape tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes as the” T.”
Change it up by adding marinated bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella) or add a smoky hit with cubed smoked mozzarella. Also a drizzle of balsamic vinegar would add a great punch.
This pasta is delicious hot as well as cold, as a pasta salad for a box lunch, or for dinner the next night. Just remember to re-season as any food that sits overnight or is served cold needs an additional sprinkling of salt and pepper before eating. This BLT pasta combo gives you a hit of salty bacon, sweetness of tomatoes and a peppery burst from basil. The pasta enrobes itself in all of these wonderful notes of flavor in the pasta below. Enjoy!
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1 to 2 slices bacon, such as Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped shallot or onion
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
3 ounces garganelli or penne pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over moderate heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.
- Wipe skillet with paper towels to remove bacon fat. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat and cook grape tomatoes, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to skillet with half of basil. Cook, stirring, over moderate heat until pasta is coated with sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining half of basil, Parmesan and crumbled bacon.
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