Since I work from home, I always have the TV going on in the background so it isnt totally silent in my office… I heard Rachael Ray making this recipe in the background, and I knew immediately that I wanted to try it – so glad that I did! I used orrechiete pasta instead of Penne because I had some on hand, and I like them sooo much more – they were perfect in this dish! I also substituted spinach for leeks in this dish because, well, who has leeks on hand?? Haha
- 1 pound penne or other short-cut pasta with lines
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 5-6 slices lean, thick-cut good quality bacon, sliced across into 1/2-inch thick sticks
- 3 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 1 round tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 package Boursin cheese (5.4 ounces) or 1/2 cup crème fraiche combined with 3 tablespoons minced mixed herbs, such as thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once at a full rolling boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and brown to crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add the leeks and garlic and season with pepper. Stir for a few minutes to soften, then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute more; add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and put a lid on the pot. Let the tomatoes burst, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining pasta, then drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Add the bacon back in and toss, using the starchy cooking water to combine. Adjust the seasoning of pasta, to taste; serve in shallow bowls topped with the cheese and garnished with the tomatoes.