Monday, April 16, 2012

It's What's For Dinner

If you've never tried this Rachael Ray recipe, you need to:  It's one of my favorite comfort dishes!

Pasta with Bacon, Tomatoes and Cheese (serves 4)

1 pound short-cut pasta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
15 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place a large pot of water with a tight-fitting lid over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add some salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Heads up: you need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the EVOO. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring ever now and then, until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. 

Add the white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and reserved pasta cooking liquid, then bring up to a bubble and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the grape tomatoes and cook them for about 30 seconds, just to start getting them hot and ready to burst. 

Add the cooked, drained pasta, toss to coat in the sauce, and let some of the sauce soak in, about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and add the diced mozzarella, the chives, basil, grated cheese, and black pepper to taste. Serve.

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