Rigatoni with Smoky Bacon and Tomatoes
This flavorful sauce perks up weeknight pasta, but not so much that the kids will turn their noses at it.
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 yellow onion finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 16 oz. rigatoni noodles (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
- 4 oz. bacon (turkey, pork, or meatless) about 4 slices, diced
- 28 - 30 oz. diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning or use 2 lbs. diced fresh tomatoes + 1 tsp. dried oregano and 1 tsp. dried basil
- In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, and cook the bacon and onions until they are browned, 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to the package directions.
- Add the tomatoes to the bacon-onion mixture.
- Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer it until the noodles are cooked.
- Drain the rigatoni and immediately transfer it to a large metal serving bowl.
- Top it with the tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese and toss thoroughly. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Slow Cooker Directions: Omit the oil. Combine all the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Serve over cooked rigatoni, topped with Parmesan cheese. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice and refrigerate the bacon, dice the onion and the tomatoes if using fresh, cook the pasta and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, grate the Parmesan cheese if needed and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish. Scramble Flavor Booster: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve the pasta with crushed red pepper flakes. Tip: When it works with your recipe, purchase tomatoes that have a higher skin-to-pulp ratio. (Like cherry tomatoes instead of heirloom tomatoes.) The smaller varieties of vegetables often have less water and therefore a more intense flavor. Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be! Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 300, Total Fat: 6g, 9%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 10%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 3%; Sodium: 710mg, 30%; Total Carbohydrate: 48g, 16%; Dietary Fiber: 2g, 8%; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g
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