BLT Pasta


Slab bacon lets you get a thicker dice than presliced bacon that will hold its own in the pasta; if it's hard for you to find, just use thick-cut sliced bacon. Peppery watercress wilts well yet maintains a little crunch. Arugula would also work.

ck- BLT Pasta
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Nutrition Profile:


  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/8 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 10 ounce uncooked mezze rigatoni or penne pasta

  • 2 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-in. dice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 5 ounces watercress, coarsely chopped

  • 1 ounce pecorino Romano cheese, grated


  1. Bring a large saucepan filled with water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

  2. Place bacon and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low; cook 8 minutes or until the bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan (do not wipe out pan).

  3. Heat pan over medium. Add tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and almost melt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in half of the cooked bacon.

  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add pasta to pan; toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid and watercress, stirring until watercress wilts. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to pan as needed to loosen sauce. Divide pasta mixture among 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top servings evenly with remaining half of bacon and cheese.


Recipe adapted with permission from Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly, by Colu Henry.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

400 Calories
13g Fat
58g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size about 1 3/4 cups
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 15g 30%
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 581mg 25%
Calcium 132mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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