Tomato and bacon pasta with ricotta

Spicy peppers and blistered cherry tomatoes kicks this easy pasta dish up a notch.

The Kitchen Paper
Fresh pasta tossed with bacon, blistered tomatoes, and spicy peppers gets a soothing finish with creamy ricotta cheese.

We did it again! Cindy and I teamed up to make another tasty tasty treat. Last time we made scones, this time: PASTA! I rode my bike out to Cindy’s house, then we went on a coffee/grocery adventure before cooking up a spicy tomato sauce, the cutest pasta ever, and having a lovely lady lunch talking about all things blog and food and Snapchat and boys and baby — lady time: The best.

Are you on Snapchat yet? You should follow both Cindy (cindyishungry) and myself (thekitchenpaper) and you’ll be able to see our cooking expeditions and her cute, cute baby Casper!

This pasta is not complicated. Not one bit. But it has some spicy peppers, crispy bacon, broiled tomatoes, and dollops of ricotta! You can’t go wrong with dollops (BIG DOLLOPS) of ricotta! Ricotta is one of those things I usually forget about — like, oh it’s not so special — and then I have some and I fall right back in love. And then I eat it by the spoonful in Cindy’s kitchen and try not to finish the tub before we’re done shooting the pictures. Oops/sorry/notsorry.

Go check out Cindy’s beautiful photos of this dish, and show her some love!

Spicy Fresh Chile, Tomato, & Bacon Pasta with Ricotta
Serves 4

6 strips thick-cut bacon, cut to matchsticks
1 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 spicy peppers (we used Fresno), minced
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juices
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 lb. fresh cherry tomatoes
Salt & pepper
1 lb. dry pasta
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
Parmesan (for garnish, optional)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the cut bacon until crispy (but not burnt!). Leaving the grease in the pan, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon grease and cook for 3 minutes before adding the spicy peppers. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, and toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.

4. When the sauce is almost done cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the cherry tomatoes in a single layer. Broil 4-inches below the coils until bursting and blackened — about 5 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, then use an immersion blender to blend until somewhat smooth — we left a few chunks.

6. To serve, layer the pasta with a big spoonful of sauce, a few broiled tomatoes, a dollop of ricotta, and the bacon. Garnish with extra basil and Parmesan, if you want!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Spicy ginger peanut butter soup

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