RECIPE

Bucatini with Bacon, Cherry Tomato and Spring Onion Sauce

Savor the flavors of Rach’s freshly cooked sauce made from burst grape tomatoes and smoky bacon and enlivened with chili pepper and sweet onion.

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 8 slices smoky bacon, chopped
  • 3-4 spring Vidalia onions with a few inches of green tops intact, very thinly sliced or 2 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, then washed and dried
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 jalapeño or red Fresno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls), chopped
  • A handful of basil leaves, torn or shredded
  • A generous handful of grated Pecorino cheese, plus some to pass at table

Preparation

Heat a large pot of water to a boil for bucatini, season water with salt then cook pasta to al dente.

In a deep skillet or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp; remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off some fat if the pan has more than a couple of tablespoons of drippings. Add the sliced spring Vidalia onions or leeks, garlic and hot pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stir to combine; cover the pan. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until the tomatoes begin to burst, 6-8 minutes. Uncover the pot and mash up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, add the wine and stir for 1-2 minutes. Season the sauce with some salt and black pepper, to taste, then reduce the heat to low.

When the pasta is ready, add a ladle of the starchy cooking water to the sauce along with the parsley, bacon and bucatini and toss for 1-2 minutes with an extra tablespoon of EVOO. Turn off the heat and toss in the basil and cheese; serve immediately.

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