Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pasta

Okay, so any of you who have been reading this here blog for more than a week or so know that I consider bacon to be one of the main food groups.  Bacon cinnamon rolls, bacon pizza, buttermilk bacon pralines….there’s not too much I won’t put bacon it.  So what took me so long to make bacon, lettuce and tomato pasta?  Who knows…but I finally did.  Because if it’s good enough for a sandwich, it’s good enough for pasta.  Right? Right!

So please meet the cast of characters.  The first one needs no introduction.

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.  :)

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pasta
 
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp, remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add wine to skillet and simmer until wine is almost evaporated. Add broth, vinegar and red pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
  6. Add spinach, bacon and thyme to skillet. Add pasta and toss with tongs over low heat until spinach is wilted.
  7. Divide among plates, top with bread crumbs and serve.

Still Hungry?

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

Comments

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  1. says

    This looks so awesome. I love the flavor combination. I’ve actually never used leeks before and I think this recipe would be a great place to start them in. Thanks!

    • Kate says

      Oh, you’ll love them! They can be a little sandy, so after you cut them in half lengthwise and take off the dark green part, run them under some cool running water to rinse them off. They have a sweeter, gentler taste than onions and scallions – I adore them!

  2. Barbara Collins Rosenberg says

    So, had to buy leeks for the Chicken with Spring Vegetables and Gnocchi, which my book club adored (as did Michael and Daniel). Wondering what to do with the leftover leeks (for some reason they are only sold in bunches of three), and now I know!

    • Kate says

      I know, the bunch-of-three leek thing is a mystery! But I do love ’em. :) Glad the chicken dish worked out well!

    • Kate says

      Oh, I wish I could say yes, but I think it really does need to be warm. But message me if you want some picnic ideas for main dishes and I’ll send you some!

    • Kate says

      Hi elizabeth! You can just use a little more chicken broth in place of the wine, and I’d up the sugar to a full teaspoon to get the little bit of sweetness the wine adds. Happy cooking!

  3. Diane says

    I am new to this whole website/posting affair. I am also thinking about starting a food website and will be watching your site to get ideas, etc. Thanks

  4. Joyce says

    The idea of bread crumbs on pasta is amazing and totally enhances much more than plain old parm, which is what I was used to. Heard it first on your blog….that wonderful pasta with sweet yellow tomato recipe you posted about a year ago. Who would have guessed simple bread crumbs would add so much to a pasta recipe.

    I can’t wait to try this. I don’t eat as much bacon as I should (ha), and often purchase the lower fat pre-cooked version, which I think will work fine in this recipe. Lower fat, but still the bacon yumminess…in fact, I’ll probably use twice as much, since it’s got half the fat. That’s almost like having your cake and eating it too….or something like that.

  5. Joyce says

    Am eating this right now, and it’s quite delicious. I had roasted all my grape tomatoes, so just threw them in with the pre-cooked bacon after sauteing the leeks. Didn’t have any wine, so substituted extra broth at your suggestion.

    It would probably be even better with full-fat bacon and wine, but I’m loving it anyway.

    Thank you!

    • Kate says

      Joyce, I’m so glad you love it as much as I do, and hurray for you for your recipe ad-libbing – I do that all the time when I don’t have the exact ingredients and sometimes things turn out better than the original – you never know. And yes, breadcrumbs can make such a difference – who would have thunk?? :)

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