This looks like an unassuming bowl of pasta, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a simple, yet rich dish flavored with red wine, bacon, and fresh tomatoes. Our tomato harvest is winding down (it is September after all) and this dish is the perfect way to celebrate the end of the harvest. Don’t forget to check out our vegetarian version, a garlicky pasta tossed with slow roasted tomatoes. For this version, start with local pasture-raised thick cut bacon. I hate to play favorites, but my favorite is from Autumn’s Harvest Farm, it’s extra thick. For me, a little bit of bacon goes a long way. About a half pound is perfect, but use more if you’d like.
Cut the bacon crosswise into lardons, while they’re crisping in the pan dice the onion and tomatoes. I used 2 large tomatoes, any variety will work or a larger quantity of romas. The onions are cooked down in the bacon fat, and the red wine deglazes the pan. Don’t be afraid to use a rich hearty wine here, I used a 100% shiraz, but any dry full bodied red will do, especially if you plan on having a glass with the pasta.
When you add the tomatoes to the pan, they simmer down in about 10 minutes. This should be about the time it takes to cook the noodles. Gently toss everything together in the pan. Serve with extra grated parmesan and crushed red pepper. If you need to make this gluten free, I’ve used brown rice noodles with excellent results.
Bacon Tomato Pasta
12 oz fettucine, or your favorite pasta shape
1/2 lb thick cut bacon, cut crosswise into lardons
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large tomatoes (or about 2 – 3 cups diced tomatoes, any variety)
1 red or yellow onion, diced
pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup plus more to serve, freshly grated parmesan
Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions Crisp bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but one tablespoon bacon fat from the pan. Add olive oil, onions, and red chili flakes if using. Cook until onions are translucent, then deglaze the pan with the wine. (Add wine to the pan and stir up any bits stuck to the bottom) Add tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Drain pasta and add to the tomato mixture pan. Add bacon, toss with parmesan, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.