Paccheri pasta is a wonderful tubular pasta that originated from Campania. This pasta is a perfect vessel for a thick tomato sauce. We served this paccheri pasta with bacon in a smoky tomato sauce. Smoked Spanish paprika combined with lardons adds a deep, smoky flavor to this pasta dish
Paccheri Pasta with Bacon in a Smoky Tomato Sauce
- 16 ounces Paccheri pasta or another tubular pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
- 6 ounces slab bacon
- 8 ounces Cremini mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 large carrots
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 28- ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shaved parmesan cheese
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired
- Slice the bacon into lardons. Clean the mushrooms and then finely chop (both caps and stems). Peel and mince the onion and garlic. Peel and finely chop the carrots.
Cook the Sauce:
- Add the bacon to a large pot and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon begins to brown and render off fat. Add the diced mushrooms, carrots, and onions and cook, stirring often, until well-browned and softened, 10-12 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables for about 2 minutes or until the tomato pasta begins to deepen in color.
- Slowly whisk in the stock, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and smoked paprika. Stir in the sugar and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. After 30 minutes, taste and season to your preferences.
Prepare the Paccheri Pasta:
- As the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 13 minutes.
- Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
Finish the Pasta:
- Stir in ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water into the sauce to start. If the sauce still seems too thick, add the full ¾ cup. Add the pasta and toss to coat.
To Serve the Paccheri Pasta with Bacon:
- Divide the pasta between shallow pasta bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and shaved parmesan, if desired.
- Note: You may wish to only sauce the pasta you intend to eat. Store pasta and sauce in separate containers for leftovers.