Tomato Pasta with Bacon and Arugula
Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
- 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound short pasta, such as gemelli or fusilli
- 4 slices bacon
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups wild arugula
Fill a large pot with water 2 inches from the top. Place over high heat and let come to a boil; add 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cook the pasta according to the package direction (until al dente). Scoop out 1½ cups of the pasta water before draining into a colander.
Slice the bacon. Finely chop the garlic.
Place another large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the tomato paste darkens slightly in color. Whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the oregano, black pepper, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
Add the pasta and Parmesan to the sauce and stir to coat until the cheese melts. Stir in a little more of the pasta water if the pasta sauce needs loosening. Fold in the arugula for about 30 seconds, or until wilted. Serve the pasta topped with a little more Parmesan.
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