Linguine with Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese
The appeal of this simple pasta dish is the delicious balance of flavors it gets from combining sweet caramelized onions, smoky bacon and tangy blue cheese. Finished with a handful of sweet grape tomatoes and fresh spinach it makes an easy, one-dish meal.
- 10 ounces linguine (or spaghetti)
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 5 ounces fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- Fry the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, return the bacon to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons water and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes longer. You can add a small amount of water now and then if you feel the onions are drying out as they cook.
- Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, waiting until each addition has wilted, before adding more.
- Add the tomatoes, combine gently and continue cooking just long enough for them to soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Toss the bacon-onion mixture together with the pasta, drizzling with the reserved water and a little extra olive oil.
- Plate individual servings of pasta and top each with 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese.