Dress Up the Ordinary
The smokiness of bacon begins a sauce full of Southwestern-style flavor: onion, garlic, chile, herbs, tomatoes, and corn, with a little kick of Tabasco. Toss it with penne pasta and some fresh cilantro for an out-of-the-ordinary weeknight dinner.
1 slice bacon, diced
1/2 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus additional as needed
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups peeled, diced tomatoes (2-3 medium tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup corn kernels, canned drained, frozen thawed, or fresh
Salt, as needed
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. Remove the bacon from the pan, set it aside, and leave the drippings in the pan. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, thyme, oregano, black pepper, Tabasco, and half of the cilantro. Add the red wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Stir in the water, corn, and the reserved bacon, and return the sauce to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and additional black pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the cooked penne. Serve sprinkled with remaining cilantro.
Wine Pairing: Zinfandel