7.24.2012

BLT Pasta

My love/hate relationship with tomatoes started long ago. I grew up hating tomatoes. I'm pretty sure my Mom made sure of it (she hates tomatoes, too). When we were little kids, my Mom would gather us all together in the backyard next to the brick-red picnic table. On said picnic table was strapped the devil himself... the tomato press/strainer. We knew what we were in for when we saw that thing.
Pic from Fine Cooking
My Mom was (and is to this day) huge on canning - this was the machine that took the whole tomatoes and transformed them into a very fine seedless juice/thin puree. Seems harmless, right? So why did the children in my family hate this thing so much, you ask?   ... While writing this blog post I actually called my older brother and sister and asked them if they remembered processing tomatoes in the backyard with Mom - and oh, how they remember the vegetable gore.

The pungent smell of tomatoes in the summer heat, the guts flying out of the side of the press, the horrible smell of tomato juice, having to take turns smashing the tomatoes into the machine, the awful smell of the pile of tomato guts in a bowl, turning the crank to power the beast..... if you hadn't noticed... the smell was the infamous star in our memories. It soaked our nostrils and lungs with evil. It was worse when weather was bad, and we had to juice the tomatoes indoors.

Why did she torture us so? Well, my Dad loves tomatoes. Her mother also tortured her with the tomato press... except they had a garden 10x as big (which meant bushel after bushel of tomato torture). Howerver, she also saw the value in preserving the beautiful vegetables and fruit that grew in our backyard. She knew how to be self sufficient, and use what we grew in the garden in our dinners throughout the year. She taught us how to work hard, and to always have a garden - I'm truly grateful for her, and those dang tomatoes...

....even if the smell of tomatoes still haunts her children's taste palates to this day.

Well... some us... later I realized I could actually handle a tomato on my burger, then in a salad, on bruschetta, and eventually... in the BLT pasta you see before you today. It was delicious, and I even liked the tomatoes :)

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BLT Pasta

16 oz ziti pasta (or whatever short pasta you love)
12 slices Bacon
1 Leek, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped. (or a medium onion if you don't have a leek around)
3 cloved garlic, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 C chicken broth
2 14.5 oz cans diced Tomatoes
4 oz cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 1/2 C grape Tomatoes, halved
1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove, drain & crumble bacon (after it's cooled down a bit first, of course). Leave about a Tablespoon of drippings in skillet. Cook pasta until al dente; drain.

Add leek/onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to bacon drippings in skillet and cook for about 4 minutes (or until leeks/onions are soft). Stir in chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Add cubed cream cheese and stir until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta, grape tomatoes, bacon and parsley and cook until heated through. Top with Parmesan and a little extra parsley. Serve immediately.

recipe source: Let's Dish

Linking up here.


17 comments:

  1. The National Child Abuse Council and the World Anti Tomato Council would like to have a word with you Blondie... thus said children are boiled in a vat of ground 'maters and sometimes seasoned with EVOO... pass me some salsa

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  2. Looks yumm-o! Especially the tomatos. . . .mmmmmmmmmm.

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  3. My family loves this, I've been makin' it for years -- only with out the canned tomatoes and cream cheese. Just lots o' leaks, and tons o' little tomatoes. So yummy. Try it. You'll like it... I make it because I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some tomatoes. Let me know if you want to dip your little toe into a gazpacho recipe -- you can really only make gazpacho when you have yummy, fresh gardeny tomatoes. mmmmm. gazpacho.

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  4. mmmm this looks so good! I make a blt cold pasta salad, so I'll have to try this hot version!

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  5. I hated tomatoes growing up too. My husband loves them though, so I think he'll really like this recipe! Can't wait to make it for him :) New follower. Yay for being blog friends! :)

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  6. I've always loved tomatoes & I grow my own. But I've never seen a tomato press. You sure are good at what you do, because I find I want to try every. one. of. your. recipes! Yum!

    Warmly, Michelle

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  7. YUMMMMM! This looks so good! I'm about to go pinning crazy because I see a lot of other good looking recipes right next to the comments... well played ;) I would be thrilled if you shared your recipes at my Throwback Thursday party. Even though it might be bad for my waistline :) Hope to see you there! http://www.hubbymademe.com/throwback-thursday-no-3/

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  8. I love your photos on this one. Beautiful!

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  9. OMGosh! You combined 2 of my loves into one dish. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week & come back soon ~EMM

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  10. Impressive that you were able to overcome a chldhood dislike of tomatoes. I'm still trying but stuill can't even stomach the smallest tomato :( This sounds delicious though...for tomato lovers ;)
    Thanks so much for sharing at the Pinworthy Projects Party!

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  11. I spent many hours as a child helping Mom make tomato juice--I remember the 'tomato guts'! This looks like a yummy pasta, I can't wait to try it.
    !

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  12. My husband used to be the same way, he hated tomatoes. He always ate ketchup and tomato sauce though, so I convinced him to try actual tomatoes and he now loves them. This pasta looks great! I am pinning it so I can make it!!! Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday!

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  13. Thanks for stopping by CountryMommaCooks and linking up at our Saturday Link and Greet Party...hope to see you again tonight : )
    Deana @ CountryMommaCooks

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  14. This looks absolutely fabulous! I saw your pasta at Crumbs & Chaos -- so glad I did!

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  15. I'm always so hungry after I leave here! I just love your fabulous recipes and gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing them and thanks also for joining in with my Say G'day Saturday linky party. I have given this post a Google +1 and have shared it on twitter, pinterest etc.

    This week's party has started so please pop by and link up another yummy post if you have a minute!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

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  16. MMMMMMMMM!!! Yummy! Turned out very good - and very simple as well. My first time having leeks, and I think I like them :)

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  17. Just found your blog and I absolutely love it. All of your recipes sound delicious and your photos make me want to go out and try them asap.

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