BLT Pasta

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Everyone loves a great BLT.  Thick cut bacon, juicy mouthwatering tomato and crisp lettuce on toasted hearty bread is a hard combo to beat.  So when I was thinking about what to make for dinner and a BLT came to mind, I wondered how I could twist things up.  I ventured into my refrigerator bravely pushing through the minefield of varied tupperware items that held remants of meals gone by.  And that’s when it came to me-I really need to clean out this fridge!  I digress; back to the search.

After finding some arugula and fresh mozarella, it suddenly struck me.  A small plastic barb from one of those stupid tupperware lids (well not techniquely stupid as that would imply they have intelligence such as myself-actually I don’t think I want to make that comparison) poked right into the top of my finger as it passed by.  Sorry; I digress again.  Finding the arugula and mozarella did give me an idea though.  Let’s turn it into a pasta dish; it SHOULD work.  Pasta tossed with anything is always a crowd pleaser, so pasta tossed with bacon I figured couldn’t miss.  I gathered up all my ingredients (well, not the cold ones yet) and got to work.  Even though my wife was all set to have a great sandwich, she was pleasantly surprised by this.  Enjoy!

I had about 1 1/2 pounds of mixed tomatoes laying around and quartered the romas and halved the small round ones.  I drizzled them with some olive oil and seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

I cut the top off a head of garlic and placed it in a ramekin, then drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with a little kosher salt, covered with foil and placed it on the pan with the tomatoes.

I roasted them at 300 degrees for 2 hours to intensify their flavor and  remove some of their water.  I let them cool slightly along with the garlic and got started on the rest.

While the tomatoes and garlic were cooking, I diced up 8 slices of thick bacon and cooked medium heat until starting to crisp and the fat had cooked off about 10 minutes then drained on paper towels.  I also got a pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.

I chopped up 3 small dried chiles.  I used japones but any dried small one will work such as Thai or sub 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes.

I dropped 1 pound of spaghetti and cooked until slightly less than al dente (about 1 minutes less than you normally would).  In the same pan that I cooked the bacon, I heated 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, added 1/2 diced onion along with the diced chiles and cooked for about 5 minutes to soften.  I cut the tomatoes into large chunks and added them to the pan along with 1/3 cup dry white wine and cooked for 1 minute.  I added the bacon, the garlic that I squeezed from their skins, 2 cups of arugula and 1/2 cup torn basil then tossed.  I added the pasta along with 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup pasta water and tossed it all together until the arugula had wilted.  I seasoned with a little kosher salt then mixed in 8 ounces diced fresh mozarella and topped with fresh grated romano cheese.

And this was the result.  My wife snagged the leftovers for work.  I guess she was OK with no sandwich.  Enjoy!

BLT Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
All the flavors of your favorite sandwich meld together in this hearty dish that's finished with fresh mozarella and romano cheeses.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pds tomatoes such as roma or small salad halved or quartered
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 8 slices thick bacon diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 small dried chiles chopped such as de arbol, japone or Thai
  • ½ onion diced
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound spaghetti cooked 1 minute less than indicated on package
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup basil torn
  • ¼ cup cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup pasta water
  • 8 ounces fresh mozarella diced
  • grated romano cheese
Instructions
  1. Place the cut tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Cut the top off a head of garlic and place in a ramekin or other small ovenproof bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt then cover with foil and place on the cookie sheet with the tomatoes. Roast in 300 degree oven for 2 hours. Cool slightly and cut into large chunks.
  2. Boil your salted water. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp and the fat has rendered about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and pour the fat from the pan. Drop your pasta to cook being sure to reserve ½ cup of the cooking water for later.
  3. When the tomatoes are done, add 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same fry pan over medium heat. Add the chiles and onion cooking until softened for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine cooking 1 minute. Add the arugula, basil, pasta, chicken stock and pasta water tossing to coat to wilt the arugula. Remove from the heat and add the mozarella then toss again. Season with salt if needed. Serve with fresh grated romano over the top.

 

 

 

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