Bacon Basil Pasta
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
For the Pasta:
- ½ lb Fettuccine Noodles
- ½ lb Bacon
- 1 Ripe Tomato
- 4 oz Parmesan Cheese, Grated
For the Sauce:
- 2 Bunch Basil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Grapeseed or Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Set a large pot of water on the stove and keep it at medium heat.
- Thinly slice the onion, then heat a saute pan to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, and then add the onion. Saute for a few minutes then reduce the heat to very low, stir, then cover with a lid leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Continue caramelizing the onion for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Lay the bacon out in strips on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until your desired level of crispiness (You may also cook the bacon on the stove and then caramelize the onion in some of the bacon fat but it will add cook time to this recipe).
- When the bacon is cooked, set it aside on a paper towel to rest. When the onion is caramelized shut off the heat and let it rest.
- Bring the pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it till it tastes like the ocean.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, add the basil, caramelized onion, and balsamic vinegar to a blender. Add salt to taste. Begin blending and slowly stream in just enough olive oil until the mixture is a loose sauce. The basil and onion should be completely pureed.
- When your pasta is done, drain it and toss it in a little oil to keep it from sticking.
- Grab a saute pan (the same one you used for the onion is fine) and bring it to medium heat. Add half the basil sauce, then add the pasta. Add the rest of the sauce and toss to coat. Add a generous amount of cheese, half the bacon and half the tomato. Serve and garnish with additional bacon, cheese, and tomato.
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Gluten Free: Yes! Substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta!
- Vegetarian: Yes! Omit the bacon, it will still be amazing thanks to the caramelized onion.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete this recipe through step 6. Immediately plunge the pasta into an ice bath or run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Drain, and toss with a neutral oil to keep it from sticking. Make sure you do not overcook your pasta.
- Store the pasta, bacon, and caramelized onion separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to make the recipe, complete step 7. Crisp the bacon up in the oven or on the stove and bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the pasta in for 30-60 seconds, or just till heated through.
- Drain the pasta and complete step 9. Enjoy!
Is it better to cook bacon in the oven?
Unless you enjoy cleaning more than eating...
Can I use different pasta?
You do you!
Yes, I love the long noodles for this dish but any pasta you have on hand will work great.
I don’t have time to caramelize an onion today.
Frozen pizza it is!
Cool, but this recipes really needs it so I’d suggest making a pesto instead and saving this recipe for a later day.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
A kiss of basil with the sweetness of an onion that you’ve slowly cooked until the sugars in it just ‘let go’ and turned to caramel, the zip of a rich balsamic, salt, and of course, oil to carry the flavor.
What an elegant, yet poetic, sauce you’ve just created. And do trust me on this, elegance and poetry are not always synonymous. We’re nearing tomato season in Oregon. It comes late in the Pacific NW since we’re still averaging the same temperatures of late May and August is knocking at the door.
The arrival of tomato season is a much anticipated moment that you wait and wait for, salivating with anticipation at the ripe, sweet, juicy heirlooms just falling off their stems and into your caprese or whole-wheat BLT with some thick-cut, cured goodness and plenty of pepper.
And when that heatwave finally sets in suddenly you are overrun with more tomatoes then you and your extended family could possibly eat! At the same time, the basil suddenly takes over its side of the garden and bursts forth in all it's loud and green glory, perfuming the air for a solid square block.
What are we to do with this summer bounty? There are so many things… it is the fate of summer that we will not get to all of them before the threat of pumpkin spice rolls in on a northern breeze that turns the tree’s edges to yellow. But while we’re here in these magical, few weeks of hot, hot summer let’s embrace these flavors that leave us with memories of warmth, basil, and the smell of ripening tomato all year long.