Hearty Sunday Pasta Dinner

We eat a lot of pasta in this household.

It's gotten to the point where I need to be more creative with my pasta recipes for our little family. Although my youngest will never tire of a little olive oil, parmesan and parsley, my older son's response is a long sigh and, "not again...(insert eye roll)." 

So tonight I decided to improvise a bit with some ingredients I had around and made a hearty pasta dish with Napa cabbage and thick hardwood smoked bacon, instead the use of more traditional ingredients like savoy cabbage and pancetta. I love the sweetness from the Napa cabbage and the smokiness of the bacon together. You can't go wrong with cabbage and bacon together ever.

(Serves 8)


1 16 oz. package of linguine

2/3 cup of finely chopped bacon (Use thick, quality bacon please. I love the bacon ends and pieces from Trader Joe's)

2 cups of finely sliced Napa cabbage

3 scallions, finely chopped

1 roma tomato, diced

1/4 wedge of a lemon

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

1/2 teaspoon of thyme

1/8 cup white cooking wine

1/2 cup of pomodoro sauce (but plain tomato sauce is ok too)

salt and pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in linguine and cook for about 9 to 11 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/8 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile stir bacon pieces in a pan over medium heat. Once crispy, transfer to a paper towel covered plate with a slotted spoon. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from pan. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to pan over medium high heat. Stir in Napa, leeks and garlic until softened and caramelized. Squeeze lemon juice over mixture.

Add in tomatoes and stir mixture until tomatoes have caramelized. About 3 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Pour in cooking wine and deglaze. Let wine reduce down. 

Add in bacon, pomodoro sauce, thyme and oregano. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced down into a thick sauce.

Add pasta and reserved pasta water into pan with sauce and remove from heat. Toss pasta in sauce. Drizzle pasta with more olive oil. Grate in generous amount of parmesan to your liking into and onto pasta. Serve.