I read quite a few cooking blogs and am always seeing recipes I want to try. I have stacks of printed recipes I intend to make someday. Ask Bob. It makes him crazy. I also have computer files full of recipes and paper folders and binders and I think there might even be some taped to the cats! Come here Bogey, let’s see … yep. Turned him over and there is one stuck on his furry little belly right now!
Every once in a while there will be one that I just keep thinking about. Who knows what it is that makes one stick in my head and another one slip away? I can’t tell you.
Some time ago I saw a recipe on “Taste and Tell” blog. (I love her blog. And her little girl? I could just eat her up she’s so cute!) Anyway, I saw this a while back and it stuck. The other night I wanted to make something different than the standards that we always fall back on. Well I’m here to tell you I’ve just added a new recipe to the “standards”!
Deb posted “Smoky Tomato-Bacon Pasta” after she made it from The Deen Family Cookbook. While on the whole she wasn’t blown away by the cookbook, she was totally smitten with this recipe. And I can understand why. It was everything I had hoped it would be.
Admittedly, I did make a few alterations. First of all, where is the garlic? It cried for garlic. I, of course could not resist. There was a very persuasive voice in my head telling me to chop garlic. Oh wait, that was Bob’s voice. He was standing behind me, looking at the recipe and saying, “I think you should add garlic.” Sometimes we think so much alike that it is downright frightening.
In addition to the garlic there were a couple of other adjustments I needed to make. I have a big bag of shallots that I’m needing to use, so instead of the yellow onion I chopped up a very big shallot and about 3 cloves of garlic. I used thick cut bacon and I think that added a great depth of smokiness along with a good bite of meat. I drained most all of the bacon drippings, leaving much less than the ¼ cup the recipe calls for. I couldn’t justify all that fat and the ½ pound bacon! I used San Marzano tomatoes because frankly, they rock. And the pasta shape I used was Campanelle, which was perfect because it really held the sauce.
Speaking of the sauce; it was thick and rich and absolutely delicious! I love that instead of heavy cream it uses cream cheese to make it rich and creamy. I used the Neufchatel (low fat) and it was great! It made me feel just a tad better about all that bacon! I garnished the dish with a fresh basil leaf and some grated parmesan cheese.
I love this recipe! The sauce is so good, and the fresh basil really made it pop! This is a new favorite. Thanks Deen family! And thanks, Deb!
Smoky Tomato-Bacon Pasta
from: The Deen Family Cookbook and “Taste and Tell”
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 pound bacon (about 10 slices)
1 large yellow onion
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 pound uncooked pasta
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and brown. Transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1/4 cup fat from skillet.
Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then crumble in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and chunky, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until melted.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the sauce and serve immediately.
Note: This is the recipe as printed from “Taste and Tell”. I did not change it to include my alterations.