Monday, December 16, 2013

BLT Penne Pasta (Bacon, Leek, Tomato)

I have a real treat for you today.  Not a sugary treat, but a super yummy dinner kind of treat.  That's ready in less than 30 minutes.  I like that kind of treat!

This BLT Penne Pasta was loved by the entire family (even if some of the littles picked out the leeks).  I'm still convinced you just can't go wrong with bacon.

I have a friend who claims cream cheese frosting can make anything taste good, even dirt!  I like cream cheese frosting well enough, but bacon is that magical thing for me.  Well, and chocolate.  Pretty sure bacon could make dirt taste good.  As long as you could get past the gritty texture.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 pound lean smoky bacon, diced
3-4 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, sliced 1-inch thick, then washed and dried
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 pound penne rigate
2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the penne. Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and crisp; about 5 minutes.  Drain off all but about 1/4 cup of the oil/bacon drippings. Add the leeks, garlic, thyme and pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, then add the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to get anything that may be stuck off. Add the tomatoes and cover the pan. Cook the tomatoes until they burst, 10-12 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Salt the boiling water and cook the penne to al dente. Add a little of the starchy cooking water to the sauce just before draining the pasta. Toss the pasta with the sauce and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Serve garnished with remaining cheese.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray.

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