If you’re looking for an easy dish that will please even the pickiest eaters, then this creamy tomato bacon pasta dish is just what you’re looking for.
Even the kids will gobble up this cheesy pasta in no time flat scoring you big points at the dinner table!
**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making tomato bacon pasta is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- dry pasta, your favorite small variety
- anchovy paste (optional)
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- canned crushed tomatoes
- mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese, heavy cream, lemon juice)
- white vinegar (just a tiny splash)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- fresh basil, for garnish
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- large skillet
- pasta pot or large stockpot
- chef’s knife
- cutting board
- cheese grater
- measuring cups and spoons
- wooden spoon or spatula
- paper towels (for draining the bacon)
How to make tomato bacon pasta:
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium/high heat.
- Add the chopped onion, and anchovy paste.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.
- If needed, drain off excess fat from the skillet (optional).
- Cook the pasta in a large pot, according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, add the crushed tomatoes to the bacon and onions in the skillet along with the mascarpone cheese, salt, pepper, vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano.
- Stir and cook over medium heat.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce and bacon mixture and stir well.
- Serve in bowls along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil leaves if desired.
How this recipe came to be:
I have a confession to make. I have a mad passion for grocery stores. I especially love finding new ones that I’ve never shopped at before so I can peruse the aisles, and ponder all the possibilities.
That’s why when a huge new Italian market opened not far from where I live my heart started beating fast as I walked in the doors.
With no list in hand, I let my imagination guide me through the rows and rows of wonderfully authentic Italian ingredients and let my nose guide me through the deliciously prepared baked goods in the bakery department. To say I was in heaven is an understatement!
What I wound up with was an odd and random assortment of incredible goodies that I happily pulled off the shelves and stuck in my cart, all the while my mind whirling with ideas and inspiration.
The result of that shopping trip is this Tomato Bacon Pasta with Mascarpone that is topped with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh basil that no doubt helps push the applause meter over the top on this creamy pasta dish.
I hope you’re ready to take your bow… because you will 100% deserve it once you set this on the table!
What is mascarpone cheese?
Mascarpone is an Italian creamy cheese that can be used in sweet and savory dishes.
It is similar in flavor to an American cream cheese except that it has more fat and a creamier texture.
Think of mascarpone as an American cream cheese which has been blended with heavy cream, with a tiny touch of lemon juice added to cut through all the richness.
Can cream cheese be substituted for the mascarpone in this recipe?
Yes! But as I stated above, there are a few additional steps you’ll need to add to this recipe if using cream cheese in place of mascarpone.
They’re optional, of course, because, let’s face it, cream cheese tastes good in just about ANY recipe, but if you’re trying to mimic the flavor of mascarpone for this recipe, in particular, these are the steps you’ll need to take…
- Bring the ½ cup of cream cheese to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl mash the softened cream cheese with a fork, and stir in approximately ¼ cup of heavy cream and ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
- Stir well, and continue on with the recipe as written.
Want to make your own mascarpone cheese at home?
Here are a few recipes I think you’ll enjoy:
*How to Make Homemade Mascarpone from The View From Great Island
*10-Minute Mascarpone Cheese From Food52
*Homemade Mascarpone from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Can this completed dish be frozen?
Store it in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months
How long will this dish last in the fridge?
If stored properly in an airtight container, this tomato bacon pasta will last for up to 5-6 days in the refrigerator.
Can the bacon be omitted from this recipe?
Yes, certainly! In doing so, you now have a meatless meal sure to please just about anyone!
Can other meat be used in this recipe?
Sure! Just make sure they’re pre-cooked first.
Here are some suggestions:
- Italian sausage, pre-cooked
- chicken (rotisserie chicken or leftovers would be great)
- ground turkey (possibly made into meatballs) pre-cooked
- ground beef, pre-cooked
Need dishes to serve alongside this tomato bacon pasta?
*Fool-Proof Italian Herb and Parmesan Quick Bread (pictured below and showcased in the featured video)
“This Italian herb quick bread comes together in a snap with only one bowl, one spoon, and no kneading required. It’s fast, easy, and super delicious!“
*Strawberry and Sun Dried Tomato Salad (pictured below)
“Sweet strawberries, tart sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil mingle together nicely in this savory Strawberry Basil Salad. They’re then dressed with a light and tasty balsamic vanilla vinegar and topped with almond slices.“
*Cream Cheese Cookies with Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting (pictured below)
“What makes these Cream Cheese Cookies doubly delicious is the creamy cheesecake dollop on top! When you can’t decide between cookies or cheesecake, this is the treat for you!“
*Creamy Tomato Bacon Pasta with Mascarpone (pictured below) – This is the place!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s easy 30 minute or less dinner of tomato bacon pasta with mascarpone.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ pound small pasta, cooked according to package directions, and drained.
- Extra virgin olive oil to finish, optional
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish, optional
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish, optional
- While the pasta is cooking brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion, anchovy paste, and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent (approximately 2-3 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Drain the pasta and cover to keep warm.
- Stir the tomatoes, mascarpone, vinegar, salt, and pepper into the skillet to combine.
- Add the sauce into the drained pasta and stir to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig or two of fresh basil leaves.
Serving Size1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 218Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 43mgSodium 378mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 5g
The nutritional information and calorie count provided is intended as a guideline only and has been provided by third-party software.
Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s fast, easy and delicious Italian meal of tomato bacon pasta with mascarpone as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!
Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!
**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!