Friday, January 30, 2015

Rigatoni with Tomato Bacon Sauce

Mark and I were watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives the other day. It's one of our favorite shows to watch on the Food Network. In that episode, Guy Fieri was in Tuscany exploring all these amazing restaurants, making us drool over the pasta. So of course, we had to make our own.

I wanted some garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, while Mark wanted cherry tomatoes and bacon. Since he was off at a function, I got to make the pasta my way and it was amazing! Both of us had seconds because it was so good.

I layered all the flavors with three tomato products to add extra depth: cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste. I added in garlic, along with some basil, chicken base and a splash of red wine for color and flavor. It was so good! I am definitely going to make this dish part of my regular repertoire.

Rigatoni with Tomato Bacon Sauce

Serves 4

1/2 box rigatoni
3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2" slices
1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp chicken base
1/4 c. red wine
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
6 leaves basil, sliced

Bring water to a boil in a large stock pot, then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

For the sauce, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add bacon pieces and cook for 5 minutes until bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon, leaving behind bacon fat if desired. Otherwise, pour bacon fat into a small bowl and wipe pan with a paper towel. 

Using bacon fat or 1 tbsp olive oil, cook garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add in sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add in cherry tomatoes, chicken base, red wine, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and half the basil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to thicken, stirring often. Add pasta to pan and stir to combine. Serve with basil and bacon sprinkled over the top. 

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