Creamy Bacon Tomato Linguine

The second I saw this on the cover of the September 2017 issue of Food Network Mag I knew I had to make it ASAP.  It has a similar sauce to a carbonara but a little lighter and fresher. There’s lemon zest in the sauce that really brightens and lightens it up! Crispy salty bacon and fresh skillet roasted cherry tomatoes really pair perfectly together, yum! I followed the recipe pretty much as is, however I used whole wheat pasta which added another depth of hearty flavor. I love this recipe because it’s a nice seasonal transition meal on these cool late summer nights that remind you fall is right around the corner.

The magazine recipe calls for fresh linguine but I used dried whole wheat and that worked great, regular boxed white linguine would be good too. I think this recipe would be fantastic with penne or rigatoni!

Creamy Bacon Tomato Linguine

Servings 4
Author Laura Doerr

Ingredients

  • 12 oz linguine
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese plus more for topping
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh basil torn
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • reserved pasta cooking water

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add plenty of salt. Add the pasta of choice to the boiling water and cook to "al dente" according to package instructions. Over cooking will cause dish to be mushy and pasta to break. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Drain remaining and set aside. 

  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped bacon to a large skillet and cook over med-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add in the shallots and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to burst, about 7 minutes. If your bacon is extra fatty, remove a tablespoon or so of the drippings.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, lemon zest and 1 tsp of pepper. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Set aside.

  4. Turn the tomato-bacon mixture down to medium-low, and toss in the cooked pasta. Slowly pour the egg and cheese mixture, and stir to make a creamy sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. If needed, add another 1/4 cup of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Stir in the torn basil. Top each serving with more grated parm or romano cheese, and season with pepper. 

Recipe Notes

I made this recipe with whole wheat pasta but would be just as good with regular linguine pasta. Penne or rigatoni would be great in this too!

As always, I recommend using the fresh off the block imported parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Such great nutty flavor! 

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