Make this BLT Pasta for an easy (budget-friendly) date night dinner at home. This dish has all the flavors of your favorite BLT sandwiches, in pasta form!
I’ve got a real treat for you today…
Who’s ready for a quick and easy dinner, that’s totally impressive, date-night worthy, and budget-friendly? This BLT is all of those things!
I picked up this recipe from a food styling and photography workshop that I attended as part of FEAST. It was there that I met Colu Henry and instantly fell in love with her down-to-earth, yet totally drool-worthy pasta recipes.
I’ve had her cookbook, Back Pocket Pasta, sitting on our coffee table since I got it, and every night I find myself just skimming the pages and dreaming of which of her recipes I want to cook next.
But, in all honesty, I could say that I would be happy to make this BLT Pasta once a week, every week, and be in pasta heaven. Actually, I think I’m going to make it again tonight…
This BLT Pasta is perfect for a date night at home because, first… bacon.
I mean, bacon is the way to everyone’s heart, right?
And, because this dish cooks up so quickly, you’re left with plenty of time to pop the cork on that bottle of wine, turn on the Netflix, and get ready to cuddle on the couch.
So, why not call Wednesday night “date-night” and cook up this yummy BLT Pasta tonight? It couldn’t be simpler, and it will definitely make that mid-week slump disappear. Cheers to #WineWednesday!
🛒 Ingredients Needed
- Thick Cut Bacon – you’ll need about 5 strips of bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces. Turkey bacon also works.
- Olive Oil
- Cherry Tomatoes – regular tomatoes will also work. You’ll want about 3 cups of chopped tomatoes.
- Baby Arugula – or, swap in watercress or spinach.
- Salt + Pepper
- Rigatoni – or your favorite pasta shape like bowties, spirals or shells.
- Pecorino Romano Cheese – or parmesan cheese.
📋 How to Make It
- Bring water and salt to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain.
- While the pasta cooks, crisp up bacon in a bit of olive oil over medium low heat.
- Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.
- Increase heat to medium and add cook garlic about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, salt + pepper. Cook until tomatoes have burst.
- Add pasta and half of the bacon. Toss to coat in the sauce.
- Add reserved pasta cooking water and the arugula; stir until wilted.
- Top with remaining bacon, cheese, and season with salt + pepper.
🕕 Leftovers + Storage
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in the microwave, or in a skillet on the stove over medium heat, with just a splash of water to loosen things up.
🍷 Wine Pairings
- Sangiovese, Chianti, Barbera, Beaujolais Nouveau, and Lambrusco are all great matches for this rich and smoky pasta dish.
- MORE —> the BEST wines to pair with pasta.
🍴What To Serve with It
This recipe is a meal all on its own but is extra delightful when served alongside a fresh salad, crusty bread, and any of these light sides:
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Arugula Salad
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Cherry Tomato Salad
- More → the BEST sides for pasta.
- More → traditional Italian desserts.
🍝 More Quick & Easy Pasta Recipes
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Roasted Fennel Pasta with Ricotta
- Sesame Chicken Noodles
- Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes
- Pea & Bacon Pasta
Did you try this BLT Pasta?
If you loved this easy pasta recipe, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a ⭐️star review⭐️! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Easy BLT Pasta
- 5 slices thick cut bacon (cut into 1/2-inch dice, about 5 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes (halved, about 3 cups)
- 3 cups baby arugula (coarsely chopped, or watercress or spinach)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (plus more to taste )
- 10 ounces rigatoni
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese (grated (or parmesan))
- Fill a large pot with water and 1 Tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain.
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and add chopped bacon, heat over medium low; cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.
- Increase heat to medium and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes, until tomatoes have burst and softened, scraping skillet occasionally. Stir in half of the cooked bacon.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add pasta and toss to coat in sauce. Add ½ cup of the reserved cooking water and the arugula; stir until wilted.
- Add remaining pasta water to skillet as necessary to thin sauce. Toss with remaining bacon and cheese and season with salt + pepper, to taste.
This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2023 to add new photographs and information. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!