Creamy BLT Pasta
Rach tops penne with a sauce simmered with bacon, leeks, burst fresh tomatoes and cheese.
- 1 pound penne or other short-cut pasta with lines
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 5-6 slices lean, thick-cut good quality bacon, sliced across into 1/2-inch thick sticks
- 3 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 1 round tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 package Boursin cheese (5.4 ounces) or 1/2 cup crème fraiche combined with 3 tablespoons minced mixed herbs, such as thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once at a full rolling boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and brown to crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add the leeks and garlic and season with pepper. Stir for a few minutes to soften, then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute more; add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and put a lid on the pot. Let the tomatoes burst, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining pasta, then drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Add the bacon back in and toss, using the starchy cooking water to combine. Adjust the seasoning of pasta, to taste; serve in shallow bowls topped with the cheese and garnished with the tomatoes.