Bacon, Balsamic, & Roasted Garlic Penne

We all know cold weather makes us crave comfort food and what’s more comforting than pasta?  Maybe pasta with some big bold flavors?  This dish is bursting with just that – I can promise your taste buds won’t be bored!

The original Pinterest inspiration can be found here but since Jon and I have made this dish a couple of times, we’ve adjusted the recipe to our preferences.  Go ahead and invite some friends over for dinner because this recipe makes plenty!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (F).

Take a whole head of garlic and cut the top off.

Place the head of garlic in a foil boat and drizzle with olive oil.  Pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the gloves can easily be pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook your bacon in a large skillet.  Once cooked, remove the strips and place on some paper towels to drain and then crumble.  Do not drain the bacon grease from the skillet yet.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Cook your pasta for 7-9 minutes, or until cooked to your preference.  Drain and return to the large pot.

In the same skillet you cooked the bacon, add your broccoli florets and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Return the crumbled bacon to the skillet with the broccoli.

Remove the head of garlic from the oven and slide the garlic cloves out.

Tip:  Since it’s extremely hot, I find it’s easiest to remove the garlic cloves by using two forks and pushing them out one by one.

Slightly smash the garlic cloves and add them to the skillet with the bacon and broccoli.

Tip:  If you’re not a huge fan of garlic, don’t add the whole head of garlic – just use a few cloves.

Pour in the balsamic vinegar to the pot of pasta and stir.

Next, add all contents of the skillet to the pasta pot.  Also add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.  Use a large spoon to combine.  Serve with warm garlic bread and enjoy!

Bacon, Balsamic, & Roasted Garlic Penne

Inspired by Food and Wine

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil for drizzling
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1-2 cups of veggies (broccoli florets, asparagus spears, cauliflower florets, etc)
  • 1lb penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. Take a whole head of garlic and cut the top off.  Place the head of garlic in a foil boat and drizzle with olive oil.  Pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the gloves can easily be pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet.  Once cooked, remove the strips and place on some paper towels to drain and then crumble.  Do not drain the bacon grease from the skillet yet.
  4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Cook your pasta for 7-9 minutes, or until cooked to your preference.  Drain and return to the large pot.
  5. In the same skillet you cooked the bacon, add the broccoli florets (or chosen veggies) and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Return the crumbled bacon to the skillet with the broccoli.
  7. Remove the head of garlic from the oven and slide the garlic cloves out.  Slightly smash the garlic cloves and add them to the skillet with the bacon and broccoli.
  8. Pour in the balsamic vinegar to the pot of pasta and stir.
  9. Add all contents of the skillet to the pasta pot.
  10. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.  Use a large spoon to combine.

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20 thoughts on “Bacon, Balsamic, & Roasted Garlic Penne

  1. bacon, bacon ! this looks delicious, we had eggs and bacon yesterday (we love bacon a bit too much around here)!!! 🙂 btw Leah I like your tip for the garlic, I learned a tip to peel off the garlic a couple of weeks ago, this is the link (thought you might like it), you take 2 metal bowls, throw the garlic in, shake it and you will get a skin free garlic and no sticky hands! 🙂 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1897556407001.000000/october-15-2012-around-the-house/

  2. This sounds totally restaurant-worthy!!! I’ve been wanting to try roasting garlic because I love the flavor, but I really cannot eat a lot of it because my breath smells for DAYS after I eat it. Sorry if that was TMI. Roasting seems like it would really bring out the flavor. So smart!

    • Haha, unfortunately that’s the consequence of garlic – definitely not a first-date food! Roasted garlic is amazing and I love that you can just throw it in the oven and forget about it for half an hour. Please give it a try – even if you just use one little clove haha.

    • Ahhh, that stinks! We love balsamic in our home and usually buy an 18 year aged one but it’s fairly expensive so for this recipe I just use a cheap one since this recipe calls for so much of it. Please let me know how it turns out for you. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sarah! The saltiness of the bacon pairs so well with the tanginess of the balsamic. I love that I can pretty much throw whatever veggies I have leftover in the fridge into this dish!

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