Pasta with Tomato Bacon Sauce

I don’t know about you, but in my house we seem to have pasta once a week at the very minimum.  It’s just so dang easy to walk in at the end of the day, toss some pasta in the pot and be ready to eat in pretty much the time it takes to become al dente!  The trick to keeping the weekly pasta supper interesting, of course, is the sauce.  And since I don’t know anything more fascinating then bacon, this quick and robust sauce is a favorite at my house.

You start off with, you guessed it, a few strips of your favorite bacon.  We are currently having a love affair with applewood smoked bacon at the moment, but any kind of bacon will do.  Chop it up into bite-sized pieces and cook it in a large deep skillet until it is just the right amount of crispy. Scoop it out to drain on some paper towels, but keep those tasty drippings in the skillet.

Now pour some canned diced canned tomatoes (juice and all) into the skillet, along with a pinch of sugar and a generous grinding of black pepper.  Let it simmer over very low heat while you cook up the pasta.

And speaking of the pasta, I love to use oricchiette pasta for this and any other chunky sauce.  It translates into “little ear,” which is roughly the shape of this pasta – small and, well, ear-shaped.  Personally I prefer to think of it as little bowl shaped, for obvious reasons. (Eeek!)  One way or the other, it does a very fine job of holding the sauce, and so that’s what I go with for this recipe, although whatever kind of pasta you want to use is A-OK with me!

Save about a half-cup of pasta water before you drain it, just in case you want to loosen up your sauce a little bit.  Once the pasta is done, pour it into the skillet with the sauce, along with some chopped parsley and that scrumptious cooked bacon.  Stir it around until everything is nice and combined, and if you want to loosen it up a little, now is the time to pour in a little of that reserved pasta water.  Give it a taste and add some salt and pepper if you think it needs some – the bacon might add all the saltiness you need.

And that’s it!  A delicious, hearty sauce in just about the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta, and now Tuesday night just got a whole lot more interesting, didn’t it?


Pasta with Tomato Bacon Sauce
Serves: 4 servings
  • ½ pound orecchiette pasta (or any other pasta will do!)
  • 8 strips of bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Two 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it well. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Save ½ cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Scoop out the bacon and drain on paper towels, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
  3. Reduce heat to low, and carefully add both cans of tomatoes to the skillet, along with the sugar. Simmer over low heat while the pasta cooks, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add drained pasta to the tomatoes, along with parsley and cooked bacon. Stir until well combined and heated through. Thin the sauce with a little pasta water if you want it a little looser.
  5. Divide among heated bowls and serve!


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  1. says

    We’ve had pasta twice in the last four days for the very reason that it’s so easy.
    Your recipe is my go-to easy, delicious, what the heck is for dinner, pasta. Bacon makes everything better.

  2. Stephanie says

    I love your sentence, “And since I don’t know anything more fascinating than bacon…” Too true. Bacon, bacon, an ode to bacon.

  3. DT says

    A quick note of thanks for this recipe. I served the sauce a few nights ago, with a fun cone-shaped pasta called Campanelle, because I knew my bacon-loving son would appreciate a new spin on pasta (a mainstay of our diet). He did, and the dish was a hit all-around (the Midwestern wife: “Tastes really gourmet,” or words to that effect). And I know you’ll find this incredibly hard to believe, but it’s the first time I can remember buying bacon–ever!

    • Kate says

      Campanelle is my favorite pasta shape! And I can’t believe it about the bacon! Now that you’ve bought it once, I bet you keep going! :)

  4. says

    Definitely need to give this a try soon! I cook dinners for myself twice per week (when I teach evening classes), and this looks quick enough that I can have an amazing dinner after a long day of work!

  5. Anna S. says

    I made this last night and it was delicious! So easy and fast, and my kitchen smelled wonderful afterwards from the bacon. I did make some changes to the recipe, mainly because I added mushrooms. I used the bacon grease left over from crisping the bacon bits, and browned 4 oz mushrooms, half an onion, and a clove of garlic in it. Then I added my diced tomatoes, let it all cook down with a bay leaf and some basil and oregano, and added the bacon back. OMG TO DIE FOR.

    This is definitely a keeper recipe. My family was already asking me to make it again!

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