Fat Spaghetti with Bacon Cherry Tomato Sauce

The distinct taste of bacon flavors a tomato sauce seasoned with fresh herbs. It is based on the classic Italian sauce, all’amatriciana.


  • 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.

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