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Bucatini with Bacon, Cherry Tomato and Spring Onion Sauce

Bucatini with Bacon, Cherry Tomato and Spring Onion Sauce


  • Salt

  • 1 pound bucatini

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling, plus 1 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 jalapeño or red Fresno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • Black pepper

  • 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 cheese, 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 the bacon and cook until crisp; remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off some fat if the pan has more than a couple of tablespoons of drippings. Add the sliced spring Vidalia onions or leeks, garlic and hot pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stir to combine; cover the pan. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until the tomatoes begin to burst, 6-8 minutes. Uncover the pot and mash up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, add the wine and stir for 1-2 minutes. Season the sauce with some salt and black pepper, to taste, then reduce the heat to low.

When the pasta is ready, add a ladle of the starchy cooking water to the sauce along with the parsley, bacon and bucatini and toss for 1-2 minutes with an extra tablespoon of EVOO. Turn off the heat and toss in the basil and cheese; serve immediately.