Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Delicious Dinners: Penne with Ricotta and Bacon

I haven't been cooking much lately because it's just been too darn hot to be standing over a stove after work. To beat the heat, I've opted for grilling over inside cooking, and we can enjoy the few months where we don't have to pile on the layers to keep from freezing!

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, I have been transitioning into an inside cooking, decorating, and nesting mode and thought it was a perfect time to try a new recipe.

I subscribe to Rachael Ray's magazine and really like the section it each issue that she calls "Take 5." These are meals that include 5 ingredients or less, and I have found that even though they are short on ingredients, they aren't short on taste, and that's what I love about them! Plus, MrMarried has no idea if I used 50 ingredients or just 5, so on weeknights, I vote the simpler... the better! I leave the big, complicated dinners for the weekend when I actually have the time to cook.

This meal took about 15-20 minutes, left plenty of left overs for lunch the next day, and even tasted better the 2nd day! What is it about pasta left overs that are that much better the 2nd time around? I think it has something to do with the chilling and the congealing of the ingredients. Anyway... I digress.

Onto the recipe!

1 pound penne
8 slices bacon, about 1/2 pound --I used turkey bacon
½ large onion, sliced
15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature --I used low fat ricotta
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente. Reserve one ladle of cooking water, then drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl.

2. In a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.

3. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir the onions and ricotta into the pasta along with the reserved pasta cooking water.

5. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it over the pasta along with the basil.

As I said, this was honestly better the second day! When I make it again, I may try to figure out a way to make it the night before and refrigerate it. Enjoy!


  1. Oh this looks delicious and simple.

  2. I love when others post easy and yummy recipes. On to adding to my list of meals!