Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Author Cooks: Pasta with tomato mascarpone sauce and bacon

Cooking is something I have only come to love over the past five or so years.  Before that, I could barely be bothered to open up one of those processed skillet deals that you fling in a pan and heat.  Now, I am passionate about trying as many new recipes as possible, using nothing but fresh ingredients.  Trust me, the end results taste far, far better than salty processed foods.  Occasionally, I even invent some of my own.  I have a particular fondness for pasta and risotto, but that's only natural seeing as how I'm half Sicilian!  This was tonight's dish, and my husband proclaimed it "best pasta sauce ever", so I guess it went over pretty well!

Pasta with tomato mascarpone sauce and bacon

Yield: Approximately six servings


1 lb pasta (I prefer something shaped, like gemelli, but you can use whatever you like)
4 slices center-cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped (buy the best bacon you can--the flavor is worth it)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste (I use the paste in tubes--you use what you need and put it back in the fridge--no waste!)
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
4 oz mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper


1. Put large pot of salted water on to boil.
2. Saute the bacon in a large skillet on medium high heat until bacon is crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate covered with paper towel.  Pour all but about a tablespoon of drippings from the pan.
3. Reduce heat to medium.  Add onion to drippings and saute for 5 minutes, or until softened.
4. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
5. Add white wine and saute until wine has almost evaporated, scraping to get any brown bits up from the bottom of the skillet.
6. Add tomato paste, stirring until well combined.
7. Add pasta to boiling water and cook per package directions.  Add tomatoes, juice and all, to skillet, along with oregano and basil.  Simmer briskly until liquid reduces and tomatoes begin to break down, around 8 minutes. 
8. Lower heat and stir in Parmesan and mascarpone until cheese melts.
9. Add salt and pepper to sauce to taste.  Drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing to coat.
10. Crumble bacon and stir into pasta and sauce mixture.

Bon appétit!