Linguine with Balsamic Tomatoes, Bacon and Manchego Cheese

by Heather on January 20, 2012

This recipe was going to be so many different things.


A pasta salad.


A separate sauce.


President of the United States.


We had big, BIG dreams for this pasta.

And although it clearly hasn’t usurped President Obama (and it’s probably better that way – I don’t talk politics, but I can’t imagine that whole wheat linguine would do much in the way of running a country), this pasta turned into something even better than a pasta salad or a sauce.  My favorite part of it was the teamwork it displayed:


The bacon added some meatiness and smokiness and bacon-ness;


The onions added some great oniony flavor to balance the balsamic;


The balsamic tomatoes added acidity and brightness;


The manchego cheese (my first time to use it) was earthy and salty and sharp.


I’d say in the Olympics of pasta dishes I’ve made in the past this guy’s definitely a medal contender.

Speaking of the Olympics – am I the ONLY one who’s pumped about the games this year?  I’m totally that person who leaves the TV on the coverage all day every day til the closing ceremonies.  I cheer for the obscure sports, but really love to watch Track & Field, Gymnastics, and Beach Volleyball.  You know, all the sports that I’m not good at…except for the volleyball.


I still maintain that this 15-lb weight on my tummy is to strengthen my legs for jumping.  Sure, there’s a baby in there too but he’s doing double duty.  Now if only I could find a beach partner…

Oh wait, this is a food blog…oops!  Moral of today’s post?  Make this pasta, be amazed, and then get excited about the Olympics.  Done and done.


  • 8 oz. whole wheat linguine
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 oz. Manchego cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400.  On a baking sheet toss the tomatoes with the balsamic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring every 7-10 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then pulse all of the ingredients (you may have to scrape some of the bits off the sheet pan – do it, it’s worth it) in a food processor until it’s the consistency you want.  Meanwhile crisp up the bacon slices in a skillet over medium heat.  Reserve 1 Tbsp of the drippings, turn the heat down to medium-low, and saute the onions until they are caramelized and tender.  Cook the pasta until it’s al dente according to package directions.  Now it’s time to assemble:  in a large bowl toss the pasta with the tomato sauce.  Add the onions, crumbled bacon, and chunks of the Manchego cheese.  Toss it all together and serve hot (or cold) as a main course or a side.

It’s Friday – I have nothing else to say other than make this.  Now.  And I’ll be over for dinner at 6!

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