Penne with Bacon & Fennel Sauce

Feeds four. Rigatoni can be substituted for penne. Salt can be eliminated since you are using bacon or pancetta. I prefer bacon.
Penne with Bacon & Fennel Sauce
Penne with Bacon & Fennel Sauce

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    lb. penne or rigatoni

  • 3

    Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4

    lb. bacon or pancetta chopped

  • 1

    bulb fennel, chopped

  • 1

    onion, chopped

  • 3

    cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1

    tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1

    Tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1

    28 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes

  • 1/2

    cup white wine

  • A few basil leaves, torn

  • Grated romano or parmigiano cheese

Directions

1. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook until crisp. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Make a spot in the pan and add the red pepper and toast it for a bit, then combine. Season with black pepper (and a little salt if desired). Partially cover and cook, stirring occassionally, until the fennel and onion are soft. I like the fennel and onion very soft, so I cook it for quite a while. 2. Start a pot of boiling water for the macaroni. Cook per package directions, then set aside about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the macaroni and set aside. 3. Stir the paste into the frying pan, then add the tomatoes, crushing them, or you can put them through a tomato strainer to remove the seeds. Stir in the wine and basil, and simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like it. 4. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce until you get the consistency you desire. Sauce shouldn't be too thin or too thick. Add the pasta to the sauce, or you can put pasta in the plates, then top with the sauce and stir. 5. Top with cheese as desired.

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