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BLT in pasta form? Yes, please! A chunky sauce of tomatoes and greens—plus BACON—tossed with penne results in an easy pasta dinner that's anything but basic.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound smoky, very meaty slab bacon, small dice
- 2 leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 escarole, coarsely chopped (OR 1 bunch flat kale, stemmed and shredded)
- One 15-ounce can cherry tomatoes, or baby Roma tomatoes or diced tomatoes
- 2 cups passata, tomato puree or tomato sauce, or 12-15 ounces
- 1 cup chicken or beef bone broth or stock
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans
- 1 pound penne rigate
- A few handfuls of parmigiano-reggiano, plus extra for passing at the table
Bring water to boil for pasta.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil, 2 turns of pan, bacon, and render 2-3 minutes. Add leeks, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, bay, and thyme, and stir to soften 5 minutes. Wilt in escarole or kale, add tomato product of choice, stock and beans, stir, bring to boil, simmer at low boil 15-20 minutes to serve. Remove bay leaf.
Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions for al dente and toss with beans, greens and tomatoes, adjust salt and pepper, toss with a couple of handfuls of cheese and pass more at table.