I love spaghetti! So, when this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge came around with the challenge of spaghetti with red sauce, I was stoked. (Yes, I did grow up during the 80's, in case you were wondering ... ya know, with my cool use of the word stoked and all.) So many spaghetti possibilities!!! In my search for my challenge entry, I found way more than one spaghetti dish of interest. For the challenge, I went with Pizza Spaghetti Bake, but that wasn't the only spaghetti dish whipped up in my kitchen during my challenge preparations. Nope. I also fell in love with this Tomato Bacon Pasta from Just One Cookbook. Delicious.
With a generous dose of crushed red pepper simmered in the sauce, this dish is in line with the flavors of a spicy Pasta Amatriciana served at one of my favorite local Italian restaurants. I'm excited to now know how to prepare this at home! But with the addition of bacon, I think this version may even kick the restaurant dish's pa-tooty!
I cooked up some applewood smoked bacon and combined it with lots of chopped onion, some garlic, diced tomatoes, and crushed red pepper ...
... and let that simmer together to become a beautiful bacon-y red sauce.
Then I added cooked spaghetti and lots of fresh parsley, tossed it all together ...
Spicy Tomato Bacon Spaghetti
Source: Adapted from Just One Cookbook's Tomato Bacon Pasta
1/2 of a 13 or 14 oz. package spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
8 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped (you could use regular bacon just fine)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 c. reserved cooking water from cooking the pasta
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt & freshly grated black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Additional chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions. When spaghetti is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain spaghetti and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until just browned, about 5 minutes; drain. Add onion and garlic to the drained bacon; cook until onion is translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add red chili pepper flakes, diced tomatoes with juice, and reserved pasta water. Stir to combine.
3. Bring to a simmer and then cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley; toss to coat. Top individual servings with grated Parmesan and additional chopped parsley.