Wednesday, July 10, 2013

B.L.T. Pasta – I’ll Have the Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato…Hold the Sandwich

I love Twitter for many reasons, but stumbling upon recipe ideas is probably my favorite. I recently saw a picture posted by my friend, Mardi from eat. live. travel. write, for something called, “BLT Pasta,” and I immediately had one of those, “why didn’t I think of that” moments. By the way, I have four or five of those moments a day.

Since I get so many food wishes for pasta recipes, I figured I would give it a go. Plus, as luck would have it, I had some arugula in the fridge just begging to be used. I knew that this combination would taste great, but I wasn’t prepared for just how great.

I decided to use crème fraiche as the main sauce ingredient, and it worked beautifully. It was just rich enough, and the fermented cream’s subtle nuttiness was an excellent foil for the smoky meat, sweet tomatoes, and bitter greens. As I mentioned in the video, crème fraiche is pretty easy to find, but of course we’ll encourage you to follow this link and make your own.

If you can’t find or make some, just use heavy cream along with a squeeze of lemon juice to mimic that essential tanginess. Thank you Mardi (and Twitter) for the inspiration, and if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and very summery pasta idea, I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz bacon
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups halved cheery tomatoes
3-4 cups roughly chopped arugula or other salad greens
2 cups macaroni, cooked, drained
grated Parmesan

View the complete recipe

28 comments:

Mardi Michels said...

This looks wonderful JOhn and I have often used crème fraîche for pasta sauces - btw did you see mine with the "hidden" ingredient?

http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2013/06/blt-pasta/

I'll have a go at your recipe now that I am in France with no access to my hidden ingredient but a lot of access to crème fraîche...

Nice one and thanks for the shoutout!

Chalkycliffs said...

Cheery tomatoes?

Chalkycliffs said...

Cheery tomatoes?

Lisa from Indiana said...

Beautiful. Just Beautiful. Thanks, Chef John for a great video.

BTW, the ingredients list "Cheery" tomatoes, which I absolutely endorse and would never change. Who wants to eat sad, grumpy old tomatoes.

Matthew said...

Chef John,
I have only the one question, would the dish hold together well enough over night in the refrigerator so it could be served the next day?

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef!

I'm a thinkin' 'dat a smidgen of anchovy paste might possibly add a salacious layer of flavor to this pasta. 'Cause wid'out it, 'der ain't no subtle yet enticing fishy flavor to make one's toes wanna' curl.

I got's to go! I'ma late for my english grammer class. Thanks! You're 'da best!

Gerry Graham said...

You read my mind. It's so hot here, I've been looking for a light summer time meal. This looks perfect. I love this pasta. I'll be making it tonight. Another winner, no doubt. Thanks again Chef John!

Yuane So said...

Any alternative for Creme fraiche Chef?

Chef John said...

Yes, check the last paragraph!

Chef John said...

SV, yer grammar is just fine. ;)

Miks Jurciks said...

Hey Chef John! I'd like to ask you a question about another recipe, but I wanted to make sure that you could actually see the question, so I'm asking it here. Remember the pad-thai popcorn recipe? I'd like to know if I can use a Thai Fish Sauce which uses anchovies. And what can I use as a substitute for corn syrup? I searched almost every shop in my town, and a few in my country's capital, but I couldn't find it anywhere, and I don't want to leave the other ingredients to waste waiting for a delivery of corn syrup from the US. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Any fish sauce would work! Can't answer corn syrup question, just not sure. I'd guess some type of heavy simple sugar syrup would work, but never tried. I'm sure there are ways if you google to get close.

Olgalii. said...

This was so perfect, my boyfriend ate like 2 huuuge portions of this - love our "bacon breakfast" every weekend, and this is the perfect addition for a weeknight dinner after a long, hard workday :) thank you so much!!!

Chris K. said...

Fun cowboy prep cook trick for slicing cherry tomatoes:

1. With your off hand, gently hold down as many cherry tomatoes on the cutting board as you can fit underneath.

2. Slice in half with a serrated bread knife, moving horizontally underneath your off hand, moving from fingertips to the wrist.

With a little practice you'll be able to halve a pint of cherry tomatoes in a jiffy!

Kathi Kirk said...

I've been making a variation of this for years but it uses Ranch Dressing...never been a fan! Love your fresh take!
Kathi @laughingspatula.com

Kathi Kirk said...

I've been making a variation of this for years but it uses Ranch Dressing...never been a fan! Love your fresh take!
Kathi @laughingspatula.com

Diane Marie said...

Hi Chef John!

That looks yummy! I'm definitely going to try this recipe. My husband doesn't eat a lot of bread, but he loves pasta; this he'd eat in a flash! Thanks for sharing! :)

Vickie said...

I just made this and it came out great. My picky three year old who doesn't like arugula or tomatoes ate it! Of course, she loves bacon, so that may have something to do with it. I didn't have creme fraiche, so I used 1/3 c heavy cream and 1/3 c sour cream and it came out very nice. Thanks Chef John for sharing such an easy and yummy recipe! I hope you had a nice birthday!

d-Dee said...

Do i measure 2 cups raw macaroni or cooked macaroni?

Chef John said...

Pasta measurements are always given as raw.

tdubyawoods said...

Chef John,

If I can't find cultured buttermilk I plan on using the heavy cream/squeeze of lemon trick. Any idea on how much heavy cream I should use?

Also, back to the cultured buttermilk thing...I've been to a couple of stores and all I can find is 1% buttermilk. Bacterial culture is listed under the ingredients, but, nowhere else on the packaging. Was that cultured buttermilk?? I just figured it would be more prominently labeled if it were cultured vs. regular buttermilk.

Cheers!

n8 said...

Made this today with bacon I smoked over the weekend. Very very good! I will have to make this more often.

Anne said...

Can you use yogurt as a substitute?

cobugi said...

This and the salmon in parchment are at the top of my favorites list of Chef John's recipes. I used crema mexicana instead of creme fraiche and it turned out so wonderful. Thanks Chef John, and keep up the good work!

JingleHeimer said...

Is this also good cold?

JingleHeimer said...

Would this be good cold for a picnic?

thisizk8 said...

This was really tasty. I didn't have creme fraiche, but I decided to add a splash of sherry to heavy cream (as well as the lemon) to try to mimic the nuttiness & it worked well.

Cynthia Garcia said...

I just tried this recipe and it turned out great, If I say so myself. I look forward to trying something new. Oh! before I go, I made the creme fraiche two days ago. It all came together nicely. Thanks Cynthia