I’m going to call this the Everything’s better with bacon veggie non-pesto pasta dish. How’s that for a name? The inspiration came from this recipe. (which came from this one, follow the spider web back if you want) Which is pretty much what I made here, except for people who hate cleaning out the food processor as much as I do.
After making this just once it has landed squarely on the list of “easy, quick things to make, which I will repeat often” It uses delicious summer veggies wonderfully, but will work just fine in the winter when I’m feeling short on vitamins. Especially since dried tomatoes, frozen corn, and frozen pesto are already on my list of things I always have on hand.
The recipe below fed Neil and I with plenty of leftovers for lunch. So I’d guess it’s good for 3-4 people depending on their appetites.
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
4 ears fresh corn or 2-3 cups of corn kernels
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup basil leaves or 1/4 cup pesto
4 slices of bacon
1/2 lb penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil (or less if your bacon is fatty)
salt and pepper to taste
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T real maple syrup (if I didn’t have this I’d sub in molasses, but not fake syrup ewww…..)
1/4 crumbled feta
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, mix in a bowl with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place them cut side up on a roasting pan (hold the olive oil for later) and roast at 300F until the edges are golden brown, about 45 minutes. I roasted mine until everything else was done and they were perfect.
chop all the other veggies, and the bacon, so it’s all as small as the corn kernels, smaller for the basil and garlic.
I started the water for the pasta now, and added the pasta once it was boiling.
Cook the bacon over medium-high heat until almost crisp. Add the onion, stir, and cook for a minute more. Now add the corn, garlic, and basil. Stir to coat with bacon fat. Add the olive oil from the tomato mix if you need to.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are about half cooked. Add the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, stir to coat again and cook for another 2ish minutes, until the sweet corn is fully cooked but not too soft.
I suppose if you really wanted it to be a “pesto” you could put it in the food processor now. But I think mushiness is a mean thing to do to sweet corn.
Stir in the drained pasta (you didn’t forget about it right? it’s right there on the stove after all) and the crumbled feta. Season to taste. Put the roasted tomatoes decoratively on the top.
This is a classic example of how I like to cook. I enjoy making food from scratch and Neil and I eat pretty well. But we also both work outside the house. So we need to be able to cook something quick and easy when we get home. I think the whole process took about 45 minutes. But after I got the tomatoes going I spent 15 in the chicken coop feeding the birds and putting the low perch back where it belonged. Then I checked my garden and opened a beer. THEN I started cutting corn off the cob and chopping basil, onions, and garlic. So, if you’re less distracted then I am you could probably do it in 30 minutes!