There is pure comfort and indulgence in this Creamy Bacon Pasta dinner! With barely any further explanation necessary it's enough to make you want it for dinner tonight. The best part? This recipe uses a few ingredients and takes under 30 minutes to make! Let's do it.
What are going to need to make this recipe exactly? Here's a short list of what to expect.
Ingredients For Creamy Bacon Pasta
See the notes on ingredients directly after the image below.
Bacon We use a lot of bacon in this recipe, because it's bacon and it's delicious! We do use a smaller amount of pasta (even though it may not appear that way) than the bacon.
Cream Preferably thick cream because even though you can use regular pouring cream you get a different experience.
Shallots One small (tiny) shallot and which can be substituted for a quarter (or less) onion. Shallots have a much more mild taste to brown or red onion so if I don't have shallots I leave them out and use garlic only.
There should be no dominating taste in this recipe besides the bacon, cheese and cream. Still, the cheese is not the star of the show. It's a creamy bacon pasta recipe.
Garlic Minced garlic is great here, and also nothing overpowering in terms of quantity.
Butter Not in the ingredient image I know (sorry!) my dog and I decided to take a walk to the garden to see what's happening next door! That's how I forgot about the butter, but it's in the recipe, trust me.
Oil That's what's not in this recipe. Oil. I poured in the olive oil but halfway through I decided butter would add better flavor to the garlic and shallots.
Salt There are two types of salt here. Once is coarse sea salt for the pasta water and the other is a salt and pepper blend from Smell and Taste which on stand-by incase you need salt and pepper. To finish the dish we used a lot of fresh black pepper, also from Smell and Taste.
Cheese You can use Parmesan cheese which we also alternate with but the reason we didn't end up using any salt is because as long as the pasta water is salted, it's all good. We also use Pecorino Romano cheese because it's our favorite type and is quite salty.
Always taste and season as you go.
Pasta And now for one of the key ingredients in this recipe, the pasta! Use any long spaghetti type of pasta. Here we are using Bucatini that has holes running through it so you get to 'slurp' all the cream through those holes, simply delicious and I love bucatini pasta!
Creamy Bacon Pasta
All I ever hear when we have this for dinner is "it smells amazing!" so you can expect your kitchen to smell equally as wonderful! The temptation to dig in is huge especially when you see bacon and cream enveloped in and around pasta!
If you Google how many types of pasta are there in Italy, you will see 350 (referenced here) but I dont think so. I think it has been far out-numbered to perhaps 800 types now.
How To Make Creamy Bacon Pasta
Fist things first, this recipe is quick, easy and delicious! I would suggest that you get all the ingredients out before you begin. Here's how to make it.
Bacon Here we are using diced bacon and frying it in a non stick pan.
Butter The butter that you didn't see in the ingredients image above? You use it here to fry the bacon. You can fry your bacon in a little olive oil if you prefer but watch the garlic doesn't burn.
Remove the bacon and set it aside. Same pan there will now be oil left behind that we can use so we don't need any other oil.
Pasta At this point you can get the pasta water on, salt it and cook the pasta. Check the package instruction but cook the pasta until 2 minutes before it should be done. It will continue cooking in the pan with the creamy sauce. Save 2 cups of pasta water! You may not necessarily use it all but you will have it incase you need it, consistency dependent.
Onion and Garlic Same pan and same oil, add the chopped shallot and minced garlic. Cook till a light golden brown on medium heat.
Cream Add the cream into the onions and garlic.
Pasta Water Add the pasta water. I prefer adding the pasta water gradually as opposed to all at once, this way you get to control the consistency.
Cook's Tip! I prefer to add the pasta water in stages (a little at a time) because you get to observe the consistency before adding all the pasta water at one time. Some times you may need more and sometimes you might need less. Problem is, if you add too much it gets too watery.
Simmer Let the cream and the pasta water go on a low simmer for about a minute or two to thicken a little.
Cheese: Add the cheese. We are using Pecorino Romano but Parmesan is also good with this creamy bacon pasta.
Pasta: Fold the cheese in and add the cooked pasta.
Bacon: You can also add the bacon in parts and fold in as you add to get a better combined result.
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Frequently Asked Questions Creamy Bacon Pasta
What is Bucatini pasta?
Bucatini, (long and hollow) also known as perciatelli, is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. It is common throughout Lazio, particularly Rome.
What can I use instead of Bucatini?
You can use regular spaghetti or spaghettoni (which is a thicker spaghetti) or another popular one is fettucine. For this creamy bacon pasta recipe, I use whatever pasta I have on hand, fusilli, penne, tagliatelle, farfalle (now tie pasta), linguine and so many other options.
How can I fix my sauce if it too watery?
Let it simmer and it will thicken.
Is oil necessary when cooking bacon?
Bacon renders it's own fat while cooking so oil is not necessary. This recipe cooks the bacon in butter and uses the remaining fat to cook the onion and garlic.
How to safely remove access oil in the pan?
Use a pair of tongs and grip tissue paper, soak the hot oil up and discard.
Keep in a container, sealed and in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 2 to 3 months. Always make sure that your cooked food is completely cooled before refrigerating.
Medium to high heat on the stove top with a little addition of liquid. The liquid can be water, milk or pouring cream. If reheating from frozen, let the pasta thaw first before reheating.
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Creamy Bacon Pasta
- 300 grams Bucatini or another spaghetti type pasta
- 2 tbsps. Coarse sea salt (any any other salt for the pasta)
- 300 grams Diced bacon
- 250 grams Thick cream
- 1 Cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 Cloves Fresh garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, small and diced
- Fresh black pepper
- Cook the pasta: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta till about a minute less than required on the packet. Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest once the pasta is cooked.300 grams Bucatini or another spaghetti type pasta, 2 tbsps. Coarse sea salt (any any other salt for the pasta)
- Bacon: Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Bring to a medium-high heat and add the chopped bacon. Fry the bacon slowly till cooked through and nicely brown (4 to 5 minutes) Remove and set aside leaving the oil in the pan.300 grams Diced bacon
- Garlic & Shallot: Same pan, lower the heat and cook the garlic and shallot for 2 minutes or until light golden brown.2 Cloves Fresh garlic, minced, 1 shallot, small and diced
- Cream: Add the cream, half of the pasta water and cook for 2 more minutes.250 grams Thick cream
- Combine: Stir it in to combine, a couple seconds
- Pasta water: Add the remaining ½ cup pasta water.
- Simmer to reduce in necessary: If your sauce is too thin (perhaps added more than needed pasta water or trying to create more sauce) let it simmer 2 to 3 minutes to get thick again.
- Cheese: Add the cheese and stir it in to melt.1 Cup Parmesan cheese
- Cooked pasta: Add the cooked pasta and gently stir it through.
- Bacon: Add the bacon.
- Combine: Stir the bacon through with the pasta and cream.
- Black pepper: Add fresh black pepper and extra slices of cheese to serve.Fresh black pepper
- Garnish/serve: Fresh parsley is optional