Make this BLT Pasta for a budget-friendly date night dinner at home. All the ingredients, including a bottle of wine, come in at under $30!
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! Not only does it come together in under 30 minutes – It’s also under $30 for the entire dinner plus a bottle of wine!
I picked up this recipe from a recent 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 honestly, 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.
I’m serving this pasta dish with a classic Italian wine – Chianti. This bottle, from Ninety + Cellars, is a DOCG Chianti Riserva. As I learned on our recent trip to Italy, the word Riserva can only be applied to wines that have matured for two years after the harvest before they are released – This particular Sangiovese-based wine was aged 1 year in the barrel, and two years in the bottle before being released. Its got a bright acidity and aromas of spice, cherry and leather, making it the perfect compliment to this rich and smoky BLT Pasta. Plus, it comes in at under $12 a bottle, meaning that all in, our dinner and wine came in well under $30! Here’s the breakdown:
- Bacon $3.75
- Tomatoes $3.69
- Watercress $1.99
- Rigatoni $1.00
- Pecorino Romano $5.99
- Chianti $11.99
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!
30-Minute BLT Pasta
- 3 slices thick cut bacon cut into 1/2-in. dice (about 4 ounces)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pound red or yellow cherry tomatoes halved (about 3 cups)
- 5 ounces watercress coarsely chopped (or arugula)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 3/8 tsp. kosher salt divided
- 10 ounce uncooked rigatoni
- 1/2 tsp.freshly ground black pepper divided
- 1 ounce pecorino Romano cheese grated
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 tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes, until tomatoes have 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 watercress; stir until watercress wilts. Add remaining pasta water to skillet as necessary to thin sauce. Top with remaining bacon, cheese, 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Wine Pairings for BLT Pasta:
- Sangiovese, Chianti, Barbera, Beaujolais Nouveau, and Lambrusco are all great matches for this rich and smoky pasta dish.
I teamed up with Ninety + Cellars to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Looking for more quick and easy date-night dinner recipes? Be sure to try these too: