- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound perciatelli, bucatini or pica pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/3 pound smoky bacon, chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Mixed freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Pecorino Romano cheese, for tossing
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and bay leaf; partially cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and lots of pepper. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and mash up the tomatoes a bit with a potato masher. Stir in the parsley; discard the bay leaf.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and mixed cheeses. Add the starchy cooking water, as necessary, to combine. Serve in shallow bowls.