A deliciously rich and creamy riff off a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. This recipe uses tomato paste for the base, along with a unctuous trifecta of bacon, butter, and goat milk. Sautéed basil stems add a mild peppery note and some gentle crunch. The whole thing is finished off with gooey oven-roasted tomatoes and a shaving of parmesan. Serve with grilled romaine on the side (recipe coming soon).
- 1 pint tomatoes (something small like cherry or grape tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pasta of your choosing (if you reserve wheat for special occasions you just found one)
- 8-10 slices double-smoked bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 156 ml tin of tomato paste
- 4 teaspoons chopped basil stems
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 cup of goat milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- basil leaves, for garnish
- parmesan cheese shavings, for garnish
- salt and pepper, to season
- Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast them at 325 for 20 to 30 minutes until soft and caramelized. Set aside.
- Get the pasta boiling.
- In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over med-high heat and then remove, leaving the drippings in the pan.
- Drop the temperature to medium and add the tomato paste and stir and cook for a 3-5 minutes. (If you are the panicky type, read the Short, Instructive Story below for more details).
- Add in the basil stems and garlic and cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the goat’s milk and butter, stirring until warm and the consistency is creamy.
- Stir back in the bacon.
- Once your pasta is boiled, drain it and then toss it into the sauce.
- Toss in the roasted tomatoes, garnish with parmesan shavings, and basil leaves.
- Season to taste with salt and/or pepper.
A Short, Instructive Story
The first time I made this, right after I added the tomato paste to the bacon, the mixture morphed into this half-curdled, glowing-red gelatinous mass. This is when I realized that I had never ever seen anyone make a bacon cream sauce and what the hell was I thinking?? I took a deep breath and counter to my intuition threw in a big tablespoon of butter and some goat’s milk. It was borderline combative – but the sauce came around with a little more heat and some stirring. I tasted it – wow – pretty happy with this one I thought, and it looks good too. I knew I wanted to get some pics for notnot. But, it was almost dinner time and this little experiment was that very dinner. I had my quantities totally off and all we had before us was a single serving, a scant single serving. My guy agreed to take the pics but he was getting hungry. I wanted a white background, then a red, and then, “honey, let’s just do that same background, but with different plates.” Finally, he had enough already and swept away the serving platter and the bowl and put them on the edge of our dining room table, having to shove away a silicone gun, a pile of books, and some drill bits to make space. We sat and ate at the edge of the table, sharing the single serving like it was a rich, undersized dessert at a fancy restaurant. He left the last bite for me. I volleyed back with some focaccia and he wiped the bowl clean.