Bacon Basil Pesto Pasta

The other day I made a Bacon Mango Rice side dish to go with my Chipotle Mango BBQ’D Pork Tenderloin and only used 6 pieces of thick cut bacon out of my pack of bacon. That left me with 11 pieces of bacon. Who wants 11 pieces of bacon for breakfast in the morning? NOT ME. (strangely.) Instead, I prefer to use it for supper. I usually make a bacon carbonara, but I felt like a pesto today considering my basil has grown out of control! (No complaints here.) So here is a bacon basil pesto pasta! The picture is quite terrible but the flavour in the dish is amazing – and it’s super simple and cheap to make. It’s a great weeknight meal that is for sure!!

 

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Ingredients: (serves 3. Add in extra pasta to serve 4)

For the basil pesto: (this makes about 1 cup of pesto.)

  • 2C packed fresh basil (I want a full measurement, no loose packing here.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4c pine nuts (or almonds if you do not have pine nuts.)
  • 1/2c parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/3 + 1 tbsp EVOO (good quality. You want a good tasting oil.)

For the pasta:

  • 3c dry pasta of your choice, I used pasta shells as my son loves them
  • 11 slices or 1 whole package of bacon, cut in half lenghtwise and diced
  • 1 1/4c white onion (half of a large white onion.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1C fresh or frozen peas
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes for serving
  • extra parmigiano reggiano for serving

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, and add your dried pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add in all of your basil pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add your diced bacon. Cook until almost crisp (or however you like to eat your bacon.) Drain all bacon fat from the pan. Add in your onion and let it brown for a couple minutes. Once your onions are cooked add in your garlic and peas. Cook, while stirring until your garlic is fragrant. Give it about a minute or two.
  4. Drain your pasta and add it to the pan with your bacon. Toss in the pesto and mix everything together.
  5. Serve with extra cheese and red pepper flakes sprinkled on top.

 

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