Crispy Pasta with Deconstructed Sauce

As an avid Mac & Cheeser (re: Avocado Spinach Mac & Cheese), one of my favorite ways to cook noodles is to cook al dente, and then bake in or grill with a sauce. Can’t get enough of those crispy edges. This Labor Day weekend  I cooked up some crispy pasta with a deconstructed sauce. Rather than puréeing the sauce into a typical pesto or red sauce, I used whole sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, bacon and minced basil to keep the flavors separate, maintaining the crispiness of the noodles. With a full-blown sauce, your noodles are often overshadowed, and your meal can be both heavy and underwhelming. This pasta is light and crispy, yet totally tangy.

  • 16 oz. rigatoni or penne, cooked al dente 
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. basil, minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to instructions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic, sundried tomatoes, basil and garlic.
  3. Drain the pasta and add to a medium saucepan, carefully tossing with the mixture created in step 2.
  4. Saute on high for 5-7 minutes, adding the cooked bacon halfway through.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. When the pasta is crisp to your liking, remove from heat. 
  7. Toss with parmesan and serve immediately.
Bon Profit! (“Enjoy” in Catalan)

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