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Rigatoni with Olives and Bacon

Rigatoni with Olives and BaconThis pasta dish features a simple pan sauce of sautéed onion and smoked bacon. A fresh herb and kalamata olive garnish completes the flavor medley for a satisfying supper. Serve with a vinaigrette-dressed salad of orange wedges and romaine, and crusty rolls.

Recipe Ingredients:

8 to 10 slices smoked bacon
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces dried rigatoni (or other pasta shapes such as penne or farfalle)
16 to 20 pitted and chopped kalamata olives (or other similar cured black olives)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, basil, flatleaf parsley or marjoram
1 to 2 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved*

Cooking Directions:

  1. In medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp (reserve drippings); blot, coarsely chop and set aside.
  2. In bacon drippings, sauté onion until soft and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and transfer to warm serving platter or large shallow bowl.
  4. Toss pasta with bacon, onion and olives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, toss again.
  5. Garnish individual servings with shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

*Use a potato peeler to "shave" thin slices of Parmesan cheese.

Adapted recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Pork Board.