Easy Pasta with chunky Bacon, Tomatoes and Peppers


This is a super easy and hearty pasta recipe that is a weekly staple at our house. It’s never exactly the same because I always have different vegetables on hand, I do always start with the main core dish – which is pasta, bacon and tomatoes and then just add flavors, herbs and vegetables.

INGREDIENTS

  • Pasta (4 servings)

Note about the pasta: you can use spaghetti or fettucine – I always prefer fresh pasta for all my dishes because the taste is so much better but you can use whatever you have in hand. I made this batch with some flavorful pasta I found at the Farmers Market (www.lexingtonpasta.com) .

  • 5 large tomatoes – diced
  • 4 cloves of Garlic – finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion – diced
  • 6-8  slices of bacon cut up into small pieces

Note: I use my kitchen shears and cup them up. Typically I like my bacon thick but this personal preference. Use whatever bacon you have on hand that you prefer.

  • 1 cup of red wine
  • olive oil
  • a handful of Italian herbs (basil and thyme) – see note below
  • 2 Green peppers – sliced

DIRECTIONS:

I usually make my sauce first, and then the pasta. I even sometimes make the sauce hours ahead so when I am ready for dinner/lunch, we just have to cook the pasta.

Step 1:

In a large skillet or a Dutch oven, place the bacon and let it start to brown and sizzle.  After a minute, add the garlic and onions. Stir it in and let it cook for a minute and then add the basil and thyme. Once the bacon is getting close to getting done, add the chopped up peppers and tomatoes to the sauce. (you can also add other vegetables like red peppers, zucchini, and squash). If the skillet get dried out, add some olive oil to it. Once everything is nice and brown and the bacon is crispy, go ahead and add the cup of red wine. Let this simmer for 5- 10 minutes.

Step 2:

Check to make sure the tomatoes are cooked and the red wine is reducing well. It should be nice and chunky and red. The alcohol should be cooked off by now. The best way to know if you sauce it ready is to taste it!!! So, grab a spoon and taste your red sauce. Give it 5 more minutes and turn your heat off. Cover the sauce and let it sit for a few minutes before serving it.

Here is a close-up shot of the dish before I garnished it with too much parmesan cheese. This gives you an idea as to the size or the bacon pieces and the consistency of the tomatoes.

Step 3:

Boil your water and cook your pasta. When your pasta is done, I always toss it with some olive oil and some fresh basil.

SERVING:

Serve the chunky red sauce over the pasta with some fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Note:

Cooking with italian herbs

I find that the flavor behind my pasta sauces and other Italian dishes are greatly enhanced when I use fresh herbs. In the summer, the most economical way for me to have access to my herbs is to grow them in a little garden. But, all these herbs are easily available and feel free to experiment and throw them into any dishes or salads you are making.

For dishes such as pasta sauce it is hard to go wrong when adding herbs. For pasta sauce, I add a handful or 1/4 cup for up to 4 servings. This is the amount I used to this pasta recipe.

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