Sunday, December 19, 2010

Penne with Bacon, Tomato and Feta

Bacon, check. Feta, check. Fast and easy, check. This is pretty much the best pasta ever. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, making it even easier and tastier (in my opinion, at least!).

8 oz. bacon, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, or equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes
16 oz. package penne
3/4 cup (or more!) feta, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh basil (optional, but definitely recommended), chopped
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan to garnish

Start heating salted water for the pasta.
Fry bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until crispy, stirring frequently. Drain on paper towels. Remove most of bacon grease, reserving about a tablespoon. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to pan and fry over medium heat until fragrant. It won't take long. Add wine and swish around to get all the bits of bacon unstuck. Add tomatoes. Let simmer while you start the penne cooking.

The penne will need to cook until it's al dente, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, the sauce mixture should have thickened up slightly. Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot, and add your sauce, along with the feta. Stir it around until the feta is nice and melty. It will still be kind of chunky since feta doesn't melt well. Taste a little and add salt and pepper. Right before you serve it, add the basil and bacon. Serve with Parmesan.

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