BLT sandwiches are my favorite, so why not use those same classic flavors and turn it into a pasta dish!?
A close second would be the classic Italian sandwich…which may have to get made into a pasta as well one day.
I made up this recipe one night when I was trying to throw a last-minute dinner together. It’s beyond easy and is actually really great to eat as leftovers…or cold from the fridge. The process as well as the ingredients are simple. The trick is to bring out the flavor in the tomatoes. I like to cook them for a little bit in a pan while the pasta is cooking, by the time the pasta is done, the tomatoes have released their juices. This creates almost like a soft and mild sauce that lightly coats the pasta.
Tips for BLT Pasta:
- Any kind of tomatoes can be used for this. I usually have cherry tomatoes around, but use what you have. If the tomatoes aren’t super juicy, add a little pasta water (about 1/4 cup) to help create the sauce.
- I like using spinach and baby kale for “lettuce.” If using heartier kale, make sure to massage it (yes, massage…) with olive oil and cut it into smaller pieces so it’s not tough before adding it in.
- Bacon is optional! You can make this vegetarian by omitting the bacon altogether.
- Cheese is not optional, kidding, sort of. BUT the cheese adds a lovely creamy, nutty flavor that brings everything together.
- Make sure to salt the water. Add enough salt so that the water tastes flavored but not so much that you feel like you need a drink of water after.
- 10-12 ounces bacon
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1 pound of tomatoes, approximately, I like using cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2-3 cups soft greens such as spinach and/or baby kale
- 1 lemon, optional
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Basil for topping, optional
- Place the bacon on a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until golden on both sides. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add enough salt to flavor the water, then add the spaghetti.
- While the pasta cooks, drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt, then cook until the juices have started to release being careful they don’t soften too much. It’s good for them to keep their texture instead of getting too soft.
- When the pasta is done, drain, then place into the skillet with the tomatoes.
- Add 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese to the pasta, then stir it together.
- Add in the soft greens, another tablespoon or two of olive oil, and another sprinkle of salt, then toss together.
- Add pepper if desired as well.
- I like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, just about 1 tablespoon, I find it helps to round out the flavors, but it’s optional.
- Crumble the bacon into large pieces over top of the pasta as well as the last 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
- Top with fresh basil.
- Adjust flavors to your liking and serve!