|Pic from Fine Cooking|
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 :)
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
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