Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta | in this kitchen

Do you have a go-to pasta recipe? One that you think of when you hear the word “pasta?”

For me, and probably a lot of you too, it has always been a simple spaghetti with meat sauce. This was what I had growing up, as much as I possibly could – it was by far one of my favorite foods, and I’d always scoop up the remaining sauce with a nice piece of bread in what I like to call Having Some Carbs with My Carbs. It was delicious; it still is.

But these days I like to branch out just a little more when it comes to my pasta recipes. Ones that don’t necessarily need to contain tomato sauce (gasp!). This bacon and broccoli pasta one is one of our new favorites around here, and it’s got tons of broccoli as well as a good amount of bacon, making it semi-healthy and very flavorful.

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta | in this kitchen

 

 

Onions, garlic, bacon and broccoli cook down together to form a sort of sauce with some starchy pasta water, and you end up with a great pasta meal that is also easy enough for a weeknight (work has been uber-busy for me lately, so the easier a weeknight meal, the better). It will definitely be going into our repertoire for those times when we want a little something different than the standard tomato sauce. And of course, this would be good with any shape of pasta you your heart desires!

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta | in this kitchen

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 main dish servings

Ingredients

  • 1 big bunch broccoli (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 pound gemelli or fusilli pasta (or any pasta shape will still be good!)
  • 1 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces (about 1 inch)
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut broccoli into very fine pieces.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions. Save about 1 cup of pasta water in a heatproof container or glass measuring cup before draining the pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, add bacon and onion to a large skillet over medium high heat, and cook until onion begins to brown and bacon begins to crisp up, about 10 minutes. Remove some of the bacon fat, leaving only about 2-3 tablespoons behind. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add in red pepper flakes and broccoli and cook until it starts to soften, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add about two ladles (about 1/2 cup) of the reserved pasta water to the broccoli mixture, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to stir for another 5 minutes, and broccoli should become quite soft.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it with the broccoli bacon mixture. Add in some more pasta water if you would like more moisture in the sauce. Sprinkle with lots of grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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