1 pound whole wheat rigatoni
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/3 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
One can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces), such as San Marzano
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (a generous handful)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, to pass around the table
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladle of the pasta cooking water.
While the pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, and the bacon and cook until the bacon renders fat and crisps at the edges. Add the bay leaves and onion and season with a little salt and a healthy dose of pepper. Cook until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the broth and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil, then simmer to let the flavors combine.
Add the reserved pasta cooking water, the pasta and parsley to the sauce and toss. Transfer the rigatoni to a serving platter, discard the bay leaves and pass grated cheese around the table.