Bacon Asparagus Spaghetti
This post is sponsored by Safeway and features their exclusive Signature line. I shop for Signature products at my local Safeway store.
One of my favorite flavor combinations is asparagus and bacon. I’m clearly not alone here as people have been wrapping asparagus in bacon bundles and grilling them all over the Internet. This easy bacon and asparagus spaghetti dish is a more complete meal based around those same delicious flavors.
For this version I used Signature Farms® Bacon which is one of more than 4,000 items featured in Safeway’s Signature line of products. You can find Signature products from coffee and juice to fresh produce and fried chicken, all with a money back guarantee!
The key to making this dish really work is taking the time to cook the ingredients in the right order. You need to crisp up the bacon first over a relatively low heat and then use the rendered bacon grease to sauté the asparagus!
Rather than use olive oil, I just kept using the rendered bacon grease for a base for the tomato sauce. Add in some balsamic vinegar and let the tomato sauce simmer for a few minutes while the spaghetti cooks. Toss everything together right at the end to make sure the asparagus doesn’t get overcooked and the bacon stays nice and crispy!
1) In a large skillet, add chopped bacon over medium-low heat. Cook, for about 10 minutes, until bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered out. Remove crispy bacon from skillet and drain off the bacon grease, leaving about 3 tablespoons.
2) Add chopped asparagus to the skillet. Turn heat up to medium and cook asparagus for 4-5 minutes until they asparagus is bright green, cooked through, but still has a slight bite to it. Remove asparagus from the skillet and set aside for later.
3) Pour tomatoes into the skillet and add vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, thyme sprigs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Then turn heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly.
4) While tomato sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until the spaghetti is al dente. Drain spaghetti but reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case the sauce needs it later.
5) Stir drained pasta right into the tomato sauce. Use tongs to toss together well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6) Stir in the asparagus and crispy bacon and serve immediately garnished with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
This recipe starts like so many delicious recipes: BACON! I recommend chopping your thick-cut bacon so it renders faster and cooks more evenly in the skillet. Cook it over medium-low heat.
Once your bacon is cooked, remove it from the skillet and add in the asparagus. For a recipe like this, I recommend buying a thicker asparagus. Chop off the tough ends and chop the edible part into about 2 inch pieces.
Drain off the bacon grease in the skillet, leaving about three tablespoons. Then add the asparagus and cook for a few minutes until it’s bright green and still has a little bite to it. You don’t want it to be soggy at all. Season it with a pinch of salt and pepper as it cooks.
Remove the asparagus when it’s done and then you’ll need these things!
Add the tomatoes along with the balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, fresh thyme sprigs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use the liquid from the tomatoes to scrape up any bits stuck to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Simmer the tomato sauce for 10-15 minutes while you cook the spaghetti.
When your spaghetti is cooked, move it straight from the pot to the skillet with the tomato sauce and use tongs to toss together.
Then stir in the asparagus and bacon. You can reserve some of these for a topping if you want.
Serve the bacon asparagus spaghetti garnished with some grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil!