Here's the Dish

5-Ingredient Penne Pasta with Creamy Bacon Sauce

By Charlotte on December 9, 2012 2:10 PM

With any luck, our Boomer nest won't be quite so empty soon. Our son Cole is supposed to come home for the holidays. (Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hal-le-lu-jah!). 

Since our only child missed Thanksgiving with the family, I'm planning to fix all his favorites while he's home. We'll have Crab Cakes, Stuffed Italian Sandwiches, Pumpkin Bread and more. But if I'm to avoid spending all my time in the kitchen, I also need some quick-and-easy ideas that I KNOW my men will enjoy.

Penne with Creamy Bacon Sauce 

Bacon Pasta Ready to Eat - 600.jpg

This speedy Penne with Creamy Bacon Sauce from The Golden Book of Pasta (Barron's Educational Series, Inc., October 2012, $29.99) is a great start because:

Bob and I test drove this delicious dish earlier this week. To give it a try, you need penne pasta, bacon (we like Oscar Meyer Center cut because there's less fat), heavy cream, garlic and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  

You need only 5 ingredients and about 30 minutes to make Penne Pasta with Creamy Bacon Sauce.Bacon Pasta Ingredients - 600.jpg

You begin by boiling the penne in salted water according to the package directions. While the pasta cooks, fry the bacon in a large pan until it's crisp.

Although the recipe doesn't mention it, I removed the bacon from the pan when it was done and drained it on a paper towel. I also poured the grease out of the pan before making the sauce. Then I crumbled the bacon, returning it to the same pan, and mixed in the heavy cream, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Four minutes later, you can drain the penne, put it in the pan with the sauce, toss the mixture really well and serve while it is hot. Our tip: Top with freshly ground black pepper and extra Parmesan, if desired.

Bob and I loved this creamy experience. The light sauce accented with garlic and crunchy bits of bacon was perfect. To round out the meal, just add bread and a simple salad. I'm thinking Spinach with Strawberries and Pecans topped with Poppy Seed Dressing.

You can bet I'll be fixing this bacon-infused wonder when Cole comes home. Any dish that tastes this great with so little effort has to be a keeper.


Penne with Creamy Bacon Sauce


Serves 4 - 6; Preparation: 10 minutes; Cooking: 20 minutes


Put a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.

Cook the penne in the boiling water until al dente.

 Dry-fry the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until crisp, about 3 minutes.

 Add the cream, garlic and Parmesan and cook over low heat for 4 minutes. Drain the penne and add to the pan with the sauce. Toss well and serve hot.


Recipe from:

The Golden Book of Pasta*


41QSZTVxe6L__SL500_AA300_ 250.jpgAuthor: Carla Bardi 


Other Works: Tuscany native Carla Bardi's bestselling cookbooks include The Little Big Cook Book: The Bite Size Cook Book That Comes Stuffed with Ideas (Little Big Book of . . . Series) and The Big Book of Baking and Antipasti!: Appetizers the Italian Way (Pane & Vino , Vol 4).


Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; Reprint edition

Penned: Oct. 1, 2012

What's Inside: More than 250 delicious pasta recipes, including quick and easy sauces to serve with store-bought pasta (such as Linguine with Spicy Tomatoes & Olive Sauce), baked classics like ravioli and lasagna, and fresh tagliatelle, pici and other homemade pastas.  

So gorgeous it's gift worthy, this one-stop pasta resource also provides a short history of pasta, a picture guide to 80 pasta varieties, and basic cooking and serving tips. Recipes are organized by pasta type (short, long, fresh, stuffed, baked and noodles) and each one includes an appetizing, color photo of the completed dish. Photos are also used to step you through making impressive fresh pasta creations like triangular ravioli. Although mainly devoted to Italian cuisine, the last chapter on noodles incorporates Asian-influenced dishes such as Spicy Chicken Noodles with Peanuts, Five-Spice Pork with Hokkien Noodles, and Beef & Spinach Stir Fry.

Time Out: 608 pages  

Available: $29.99 hardcover at Amazon and other retailers 

* Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. 


Want another easy meal idea? Try: 

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ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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