Aired April 15, 2010
1 pound bucatini
EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling, plus a tablespoon
8 slices smoky bacon, chopped
3-4 spring Vidalia onions with a few inches of green tops intact, very thinly sliced or 2 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced then washed and dried
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 jalapeno or red Fresno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls, chopped
A handful of basil leaves, torn or shredded
A generous handful of grated pecorino, plus some to pass at table
Heat a large pot of water to a boil for bucatini, season water with salt then cook pasta to al dente.
In a deep skillet or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook to crisp, remove with slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel covered plate. Drain off some fat if pan has more than a couple of tablespoons of drippings. Add spring sliced Vidalia onions or leeks, garlic and hot pepper and saut 2-3 minutes then add tomatoes and stir to combine, cover pan. Shake pan occasionally and cook until tomatoes begin to burst, 6-8 minutes. Uncover pot and mash up tomatoes with wooden spoon, add wine and stir a 1-2 minutes. Season the sauce with some salt and black pepper to taste, then reduce the heat to low.
When pasta is ready, add a ladle of starchy water to sauce along with parsley, bacon and bucatini, toss 1-2 minutes with an extra tablespoon EVOO. Turn off heat and toss in basil and cheese, serve immediately.