Other than headlining a BLT or lying beside a pile of scrambled eggs, this may be our favorite use for bacon. It adds so much flavor to pasta, pairs well with so many vegetables (green peas, broccoli, butternut squash), and—if you chop it into pieces first—cooks in no time.
Plus, it leaves all that liquid fat in the pan, and you know what that's good for: sautéing onions, garlic, and vegetables. Then all you need is some cheese, maybe a little cream (mmm), and a batch of freshly boiled pasta.
Do you have a favorite bacon pasta dish? Here are 10 that look fabulous to us.
• 1. Bacon and Parmesan Pasta, from Tasty Kitchen via Dine and Dish. Very similar to a carbonara but less eggy, more creamy.
• 2. Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta, from the Kitchn. The thin little ribbons of sprouts are delicious; just sub in bacon for the pancetta.
• 3. Squash, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil, from the Kitchn. Yes, these are very summery ingredients, but goat cheese and bacon are great together, so use that as a jumping off point. You can skip the basil (and squash is pretty easy to find year-round).
• 4. Pasta Carbonara from the Pioneer Woman. Here's Emma's review of the simple, satisfying bacon-and-egg dish.
• 5. Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta, from the Kitchn. Soft chunks of squash, crispy bites of bacon—this might be our favorite fall pasta.
• 6. One Pot Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon, from Everyday Food. Another classic combination—bacon and bright green broccoli.
• 7. Tagliatelle with Chestnuts, Pancetta, and Sage, from Gourmet. Are you a fan of chestnuts? This is full of fall flavors. Might be a good side dish for Thanksgiving.
• 8. Ricotta Pasta with Fava Beans and Bacon, from the Kitchn. Make it easier with frozen green peas.
&bul; 9. Creamy Pasta with Tomato, Bacon, and Ricotta, from the Kitchn. Another one with a quick, gooey ricotta sauce.
• 10. Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta, from Cooking Light. A beautiful baked pasta that can be made ahead of time!
Related: Italian Template Recipe: Pasta, Meat, Greens, and Cheese
(Images: Kristen Doyle/Dine and Dish; Elizabeth Passarella; Emma Christensen; MarthaStewart.com; Romulo Yanes/Gourmet; Faith Durand; Becky Luigart-Stayner/Cooking Light)