Chef John's BLT Pasta Recipe

Chef John's BLT Pasta Recipes

  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 25 mins
  • READY IN 40 mins 


Original recipe makes 4 servings

  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 teaspoons lemon zest
  •  2/3 cup creme fraiche
  •  2 cups ditalini pasta
  •  2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  •  4 cups baby arugula, coarsely chopped
  •  salt and ground black pepper to taste
  •  1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  •  1 tablespoon freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, or to taste (optional)


  1. Pour olive oil into a heavy skillet over medium heat, add bacon, and cook until almost crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off heat. Hold a paper towel with tongs and mop up excess bacon grease with the paper towel, leave about 2 teaspoons bacon grease in the skillet.
  2. Stir minced garlic and lemon zest into bacon in the skillet and let cook in residual heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir creme fraiche into bacon mixture.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and stir in 2 cups of ditalini. Cook till tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and add pasta to the skillet. Stir pasta thoroughly into bacon and creme fraiche mixture.
  4. Return skillet to medium heat. Add tomatoes; cook and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Mix in arugula, stirring until wilted, about 30 seconds, and turn off heat.
  5. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir again and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

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