Joie’s Late Week Recipes: Caramelised Bacon and Tomatoes with Boccocini, Spaghetti and Love

November 19, 2007

I know, this recipe is so late that it’s early, but bear with me. My exams have ended and I’ve been too busy doing nothing. Strangely enough, all this while my life was filled to brimming with novels I was reading, projects I was knitting, long walks I was taking, guitar skills I was honing and the myriad of little errands you have to run to keep things running smoothly. Now that I am truly able to do anything I want without having to consider other things I should be doing instead (things like studying or working on assignments) I don’t want to do anything. I spent most of yesterday staring at my toes as I sat on the couch and it looks as though today won’t be any different. I couldn’t even cobble together an elaborate meal (did I tell you about that Spaghetti Marinara I made the day before an exam that involved slow roasted veggies and 6 different kinds of seafood each with their own individual cooking times?) with any enthusiasm. Lately I’ve been favouring lightning-fast meals that take the same amount of time to prepare as it does to buy from a take-out, but that are much, much better. With this in mind, may I present for your consideration:

Caramelised Bacon and Tomatoes with Boccocini, Spaghetti and Love

  • 100g streaky bacon (chopped)
  • 125g mini Roma tomatoes (quartered) OR cherry/grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 50-100g boccocini (roughly chopped)
  • 2-3tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 serving[1] of slightly undercooked spaghetti


1.      Start the bacon in a cold pan over medium high heat[2]. If you have a splatter guard, this is the time to use it.

2.      When the bacon has browned around the edges, throw in the tomatoes. Do not move the tomatoes around the pan for at least 45 seconds. You want it to caramelise.

3.      Stir the pan once or twice and then leave it alone for another minute.

4.      Turn off the heat[3] and add the balsamic vinegar. The pan should be hot enough to reduce the balsamic vinegar by at least half. The wetness of the tomatoes, bacon fat and vinegar should result in a syrupy type sauce.

5.      Add the spaghetti and boccocini to the pan, toss to coat.

6.      You could garnish it with fresh basil chiffonade[4] but like I mentioned in my preamble, I’m not in the mood for fussy right now.

[1] To me, one serving is a bundle of spaghetti that is an inch across the diameter of the bunch when you clutch it in a fist.

[2] Starting your bacon in a cold pan and letting it heat up with the pan has the effect of rendering out the fat and making it nice and crispy-like. Very nice.

[3] It is important to turn off the heat especially if you use a gas stove. The steam will carry grease as it leaves the pan. This is the stuff that flare-ups are made of.

[4] A chiffonade is the process and what results from that process.


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