The tomato part is not being played by big guys (which are not in season anyway…I’m counting the days) but by cherry tomatoes, which somehow manage to remain sweet and wonderful all year long, and which come in various fun colors.
I went with red ones for my inaugural making of this dish, just to be a purist. Now comes the lettuce, and while I am all for trying offbeat cooking methods (and there is grilled Caesar salad recipe high on my to-do list which yes, involves grilling the lettuce), the part of the lettuce in this recipe is being played by its close cousin, baby spinach. Good and good for you!
Last but not least…the piece de resistance…once you have this glorious concoction all assembled, you sprinkle on a generous handful of garlic bread crumbs that you have toasted in olive oil. Now, there are a few other fabulous players in the supporting cast (leeks, white wine, fresh thyme) but you are already in, right? So I’ll just pipe down and get right to the recipe, so you can get right to making it/eating it/dreaming about it/making it again. :)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup thinly sliced leek
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper
- 6 ounces linguine
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- Make the breadcrumbs by heating olive oil in a medium skillet, adding garlic and bread crumbs and stirring until golden, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp, remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add tomatoes and sugar to skillet with bacon drippings and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add leek and stir for another 3 minutes.
- Add wine to skillet and simmer until wine is almost evaporated. Add broth, vinegar and red pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
- Add spinach, bacon and thyme to skillet. Add pasta and toss with tongs over low heat until spinach is wilted.
- Divide among plates, top with bread crumbs and serve.
Loaded Pasta Carbonara from Framed Cooks
Pasta with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts from Eats Well With Others
Linguine with Bacon and Sugar Snap Peas from Framed Cooks
Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home