In my craving for flavor, sometimes I just mix flavor together and hope it works! In this case it did. My family really enjoyed this dish. It had something for everyone and when my son came through the door as I was cooking last night…. he excitedly said …. “I smell Bacon!”…What’s for dinner? My original concept included home made pasta, I was thinking back to a dish from Rome. To this day that dish was perhaps one of the most scrumptious meals I have ever tasted. Simple, yet scrumptious, as I found all the meals in Italy. This dish was made of thinly pressed pasta in strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and 5 inches or so inches long. It was covered in roasted baby tomatoes. It had a very rustic appeal. Well, my day ran longer than I expected and I found myself going for the packaged pasta. This dish was still super scrumptious. I hope you find yourself with a little time available some day and make your own pasta. It is surprisingly easy … a bit messy… but the the flavor and consistency is to die for!
If you find yourself in Rome, (and I hope you do) try this amazing restaurant, Target. In the Heart of Rome, two blocks or so from the St. Regis Hotel, you will not be disappointed!
1 1/2 lb Baby Heirloom Tomatos
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp Penzeys garlic powder
1 tsp Penzeys Mural of Flavor salt free seasoning (this is a new flavor from Penzeys)
6 oz apple wood smoked lardons (cooked crispy)
12 oz penne pasta (or if you have time… make your own pasta!)
3 oz herb salad mix
pinch of salt and pepper – if needed
Optional: Poached eggs and shaved parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425
Add tomatoes to baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder and Mural of Flavor seasoning. Toss to coat. Roast tomatoes about 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven, add tomatoes and all of their delish juices into a deep large sauté pan.
Bring heavily salted (kosher salt or if you have it sea salt) water to boil and add pasta. The salt in the water will season your pasta. I always hear the water in which you boil pasta should taste of the sea! So, taste your water! This trick really does make a difference in the flavor of your pasta.
While tomatoes are roasting and water is coming to a boil, crisp your lardons. When crispy, remove from pan and place onto paper towels. This helps to remove the additional bacon fat. Set aside.
When pasta is ready, and I find this to be to ones own taste ( I don’t like my pasta al dente, I like it cooked a bit more)…Shock! Reserve a cup of the starchy boiling water and keep to the side, drain pasta. Add drained pasta to the large sauté pan with tomatoes and mix together over medium heat. If your pasta is dry and you need a bit of liquid, use the pasta water. Add in the herb salad mix and stir to incorporate into the pasta dish. This will slightly wilt and cook the herb salad and add the delish flavors of the herbs! Now is the time to taste and add a sprinkle of salt if needed.
Serve with bacon sprinkled on top and a couple pieces of crusting.
Optional- Poached eggs and Parmesan top. I personally like poached eggs on pasta. I started doing this a long time ago…I think because I love poached eggs! And, who doesn’t like their pasta with parm???
4 – 6 servings