Thursday, January 22, 2009

BLT pasta... 45 minutes

the goods:

1 clove garlic
1 cup french bread cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup tomato paste
bucatini or spaghetti
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
pinch of dried thyme

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook bucatini according to package instructions.

Mince garlic in a food processor. Add bread cubes, and process until coarse. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium; add crumbs and toast until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and set aside.

Saute bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease.
Caramelize tomatoes and sugar in bacon grease over medium, about 5 minutes. Add leeks; saute until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.

Deglaze skillet with wine; simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add the broth, tomato paste, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until liquid is reduced by a third, about 5 minutes.

Add spinach, thyme, and bacon pieces to sauce. Transfer cooked pasta from cooking water to the skillet using tongs. Toss to coat with sauce. Season with salt. Sprinkle with bread crumbs prior to serving.

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