bacon “leafy green” tomato pasta

August 27, 2014 § 64 Comments

bacon lettuce tomato pasta

There is something exceptionally comforting about a bowl of pasta tossed with your favorite ingredients.   Even in the summertime a lovely herbaceous parsley pesto with a sprinkling of dry chili flakes is a perfect way to wind down and and enjoy the end of a hot summer day.  BLT sandwiches happen to be a favorite around here, so why not toss the ingredients together with a nice pasta such as mezze penne?  Rather than lettuce we used spinach.  Bacon “leafy green” tomato pasta.

garden fresh cherry tomatoes

The steps are quite simple.  You put eight slices of center cut bacon in a large skillet over medium heat and a pot of water on the stove to boil.  After the bacon is cooked to a crisp remove from the skillet and set aside.  Prepare the pesto and set aside.  Leave the kitchen for five minutes with both a pile of cooked bacon sitting on the counter and your hungry sixteen year old son sitting at the kitchen table with his computer.  Return to the kitchen and find there are only 4 slices left!  What?  Yes, that is exactly what happened.  Our BLT pasta only had a total of four slices of bacon.  Although wonderfully delicious, next time I make this (and I will) I’ll keep a better eye on that bacon!

parsley pesto

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 pound mezze penne pasta
  • 8 center cut bacon slices
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  • handful fresh parsley (about 1 cup once it is finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, slice and set aside.  Keep the skillet on the stove (no heat) with the bacon fat in it.

To make the pesto, put the parsley, parmesan, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.  Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil.  Set aside while waiting for the pasta to cook.

Reheat skillet and add tomatoes to the bacon drippings;  cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Drain the penne and return to the pot.  Toss with the pesto sauce until well coated.  Add the tomatoes and spinach to pasta and gently toss.

Serve with crumbled bacon and a sprinkling of parmesan.




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§ 64 Responses to bacon “leafy green” tomato pasta

  • Ahh…hahahaha! Yes, those boys will succumb to the bacon temptation every time!! Love it… <3 This looks so delicious Seana. I would eat this wonderful meal in place of a BLT anytime. Wonderful post, wonderful recipe. <3

    • Hello there! How have you been Prudy? BLT pasta is a winner! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stepped back into the kitchen. He ate 4 pieces in 5 minutes! Aw well, I couldn’t be mad at him. It’s hard enough for me not to eat it while I’m cooking! :) Hope it’s all good for you. It’s very nice hearing from you today.

  • sallybr says:

    In his defense, the smell of cooked bacon can make a well-behaved human being forget all rules of etiquette… ;-)

    great pasta, I would be happy as a guest, and would not steal any bacon. Promise.

    • You are right Sally. I couldn’t possibly be mad that he ate four pieces of bacon in 5 minutes! Isn’t it difficult to leave the bacon alone? I never end up with any for my plate when I make it for breakfast because I eat my share as I’m cooking! :)

  • Kristy says:

    Making tonight

  • Ah yes, the growing boy! Eating us out of house and home. Lovely salad as well. :)

  • This is s PERFECT summer meal. And it has bacon, so it’s even perfecter. ;)

  • Amanda says:

    Wow what a beautiful, fresh and simple recipe. Those tomatoes are stunning. I like your method! That’s how I do most meals I like the most….set it in motion, leave, come back and it’s ready! Your pestos are inspirational. I don’t make nearly enough. I love the addition of parmesan cheese.

    • Good thing you don’t have a food thief in your kitchen! :) The tomatoes are out of control. I think I could have grown larger tomatoes this year. I usually only grow cherry tomatoes because we just don’t have many hot days for them to ripen. I love pesto Amanda! It has become a “go to” sauce for so many other dishes than just pasta. Altering it a little with a touch of vinegar and red pepper flakes (chimichurri style) is another one we make all the time for fish and steaks. I thought of you this morning. My husband got home at 3am this morning from a two day fishing trip. He brought home close to 100 lbs. of tuna! What the heck are we going to do with all this tuna? You were a fish monger, right? Any freezing tips? Help! :)

      • Amanda says:

        Ha! I love home grown tomatoes. So jealous. That’s amazing!!! I was a fish monger and you can definitely freeze fish. 100lbs! Wow. 3am sounds about right. What people used to do when they had extra from fishing trips like that was sell it to us. I’d say keep as much as you want. It lasts in the freezer (check online for how long, but I think it’s quite awhile) and sell some of it to the local fish store if you have one. They’d be happy to have it. I have no idea about pricing though.

      • Thanks! ;) We are trying to give as much away while it’s fresh. But we are bagging it up and freezing too. Unfortunately for us we can’t sell it to a fish market because Seattle is chock full of fish markets! Over abundance I guess you could say… :)

      • Amanda says:

        Ah! A good problem to have. If I were there is take some of your hands. It’s so fresh you could make a tartare or sushi it a lightly seared sesame tuna with soy dipping sauce (the only tuna recipe on my blog) or cook it and make homemade tuna salad for sandwiches or salad greens. It’s such a different flavor from bumble bee.

  • I still have to make my first pesto…no kidding :))…
    Your pasta looks so refreshing and summerish Seana!

  • I really love the fresh simplicity of this.

  • This is so simple and I love it, it lets the best of summer produce shine. Delicious recipe Seana.

  • My husband has been asking for pasta and this sounds perfect for summer! I think I will try it with grilled romaine lettuce rather than spinach, just because you paint such a lovely picture of a traditional BLT.

  • Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely. It’s foolhardy to leave a teenager anywhere near food.

  • Mary Frances says:

    This looks lovely, I am a huge fan of those baby tomatoes, they’re so sweet!

  • How often that scene is played out in our kitchen. At least he didn’t eat all eight. That’s positively considerate for a 16 year old boy.

    • I have a feeling this is not new to a lot of folks! :) And that’s positive thinking that he didn’t eat all eight pieces of bacon. Oh well, the pasta was still wonderful even with 1/2 the bacon.

  • 100lbs of tuna?! You’re kidding me. Actually, tuna goes great with bacon – if you have any left! Hahaha. That was so funny about your son. Funny thing is, I can’t stand the smell of cooked bacon. Always reminds me of a farmyard. But I ate pasta last weekend for the first time in maybe 6 months. And looking forward to risottos during autumn. Now for some serious pestos. Yes, my local supermarket is now selling fresh herbs! At last. Admittedly, most are only suited for compost. But the parsley is nicely fresh. Oh, and I happened on TK (TJ?) Maxx’s Home dept earlier today. Heavily discounted N York skillets. And other beautiful pans. I’m done for!

    • TJ Maxx…Yes! We have that here too. And their is an affiliate store called Marshall’s where I purchased a very large Le Crueset for less than 1/2 the price at the kitchen store! Glad you found TJ Maxx. But you’re right, you are done for! :) I am not exaggerating about the 100lbs of tuna! It’s outrageous. Personally he caught 12 large tuna fish and the other 9 fishermen caught their fair share too. It was a chartered fishing trip and he came home with the fish already cleaned and filleted. Now…what to do? Stay tuned… :)

  • I was so excited about this dish beause my family loves bacon and pasta, it was a hit with my teenage granddaughter the 13 yr old and my daughter loved it. I will be making this dish often. Thank you again.

  • Liz says:

    yum :-) Very summer. So hard to believe we’re moving on to fall! You’ve made the most of your summer bounty for sure though. Love it all! And lol, yes to more bacon. Sneaky boy you have ;-)

  • Crispy bacon only lasts a few seconds around here too Seana! I love this little pasta dish – such beautiful fresh and simple ingredients to make a wonderful summer meal! Your 2 wooden bowls are also stunning – love their unusual shapes… so much character!

  • ladyredspecs says:

    Love the sound of your BLT pasta sauce Seana and I can’t wait to see how you weave your magic with all that beautiful fresh tuna. Day 1 sashimi?

    • Hi Sandra. I like your new gravatar! :) My oh my we have enough albacore to open a fish market. We have been searing, grilling and sharing! It is so fun to see how excited our friends & neighbors are when we deliver fresh wild caught tuna! The fishing excursion was quite an experience for my “non-fisherman” husband. And it’s great to have a freezer full of albacore.

  • Matt says:

    Pasta is my weakness… but bacon and pasta… how could you say no to that!

  • cheri says:

    Hi Seana, what a lovely sounding dish, sounds like your son thought so too. Have a nice holiday week-end!

  • Love the boy and his bacon story! And the pasta. But the 100 pounds of tuna has me really going. WOW. Sushi! Sashimi! Seared tuna in black sesame seeds with wasabi on the side. Yum yum yum. How fabulous.

    • The amount of fresh albacore we have in our freezer right now is off the charts! It is such a wonderful tasting fish. I have never cooked albacore before, only had it in sushi restaurants. I like your idea about black sesame seeds with wasabi. I will make it for sure! :)

  • I effing love a BLT and this pasta would go very well my face too! Just need to make sure the kids stay away from the bacon to ensure some makes it to the table, eh. Mine would’ve done the same!! Nice work my friend.

  • wow! i absolutely love your pasta! it looks delicious!

  • Cindy says:

    Yum! Simple and comforting – perfect meal

  • hellotofit says:

    Love everything about this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • What a comfortable meal that everyone would really dig into.– and I loved the wooden bowl cradling your tomatoes!!

  • I recently made a BLT pasta salad and I like your version a lot. I can remember when my stepson was that age and I had to tape the refrigerator with a big note not to eat certain things when we had guests coming. :)

  • I have the same problem with the bacon at my house! And like Cooking with auntjuju, I had to tape notes, hide food, write on things with sharpies, etc. i considered padlocking the fridge! I really did!

    This looks lovely, and I have never thought to add red pepper flakes to a pesto dish, but now I can’t wait to try a few next time!

  • Karen says:

    What a pretty pasta dish with such a colorful combination of ingredients.

  • Delicious and comforting pasta!!!
    lovin the color…..

  • laurasmess says:

    Hahaa! Leaving bacon on the kitchen counter is definitely a dangerous thing! I’m glad that you at least managed to salvage a few slices. A little bacon goes a long way :) The colours in this dish are beautiful Seana. I love simple pasta dishes and this one is perfect for a change of season! xx

  • Missing you Seana– know you’re busy back to school– Hope everything is going well…

    • Thank you so much Rhonda. It’s true. I have been very busy. Still cooking and snapping a few photographs here and there, just haven’t taken time to post or visit! I’ll be back soon, I’m sure. :)

      • Seana– Glad to hear everythings’s going well– Be happy to see your cooking pics/recipes whenever they appear- Love all your great recipes– and fresh ingredients!!

  • Cecile says:

    Love this – it’s not complicated but I’m sure it’s loaded with flavor!

  • Sophie33 says:

    I also love creating new pesto’s & I know that parsley pesto is a really tasty one! I also made this lovely combined recipe & loved every bite! So goooooddddd! xxx

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