I first made this pasta quite a while back. We really liked it then, but for whatever reason (49850 saved “to try” recipes, perhaps?) it didn’t get made again for a long time. I looked back at my notes (um, that would be me searching my email because I remembered telling someone about it) and saw that it didn’t quite make enough sauce, so I upped the sauce a little bit and changed the proportions a bit to something that works better for us (this usually means we all eat it for dinner and Tom & I have enough for lunch the next day). One time, I also added chicken to this to up the protein (pro-tip: You can cook it in the bacon fat before cooking the onion).
Pasta with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon, and Manchego Cheese
Adapted from Heather’s Dish
2 pints cherry tomatoes
10-12 oz. linguine or other pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat)
6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 oz. Manchego cheese, cut into small pieces, shaved, or grated
Preheat the oven to 400º. Toss the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few cranks of pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during roasting. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Set the bacon aside and drain off all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onion to the skillet with the bacon drippings and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions for al dente.
Scrape the tomatoes and any accumulated juices and the onion mixture into the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Pulse until everything is combined and as smooth as you’d like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the cooked pasta, sauce, bacon, and Manchego together and serve.