Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mezza Rigatoni with Tomato Butter Sauce...

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I know, pasta, simple delicious sauce, bacon, goat cheese and the "piece de resistance"... deep fried basil leaves!!  Dinner in less than 50 minutes, total gourmet, who needs a restaurant much shall I charge??

It was another humid day here in Upstate NY!  Nothing world record setting or anything, but enough to make me start to sweat at the back of my neck and upper torso (hmmm you know what I mean, let's keep it PG shall we)!!
I was working away, and was finally blessed with a route far enough that I could a) listen to my books on tape (love Lisa Gardner btw), and b) keep my mind occupied!  My mind was racing with ideas as to what I could make for dinner that wouldn't heat up the house triplefold and that was delicious enough that my rug rats and hubby would eat it and thoroughly enjoy it!!  "Aha moment", half way thru the day.... I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I wanted to make a silky tomato sauce and incorporate bacon, goat cheese and finally deep fried basil leaves!!

Ready for the recipe? Here we go!

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion quartered
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1lb rigatoni pasta
6-7 slices bacon 
4 Oz goat cheese
a small handful of basil leaves *optional*

Gather your ingredients.

Manny couldn't help himself, he's a picture hog!! You can almost see Bella too!!

In a medium quart sauce pan add your tomatoes (including juice), butter, onion, salt & pepper.  Let simmer for about 45 minutes, adjust seasoning if needed.  The creaminess of the butter will help thicken the sauce and give it an out of this world flavor!


When the sauce has finished simmering, using either an immersion blender blend the whole tomatoes and onions till smooth.  You can also use a blender, just be careful when handling the hot sauce. 

See how beautiful and fresh this is?  You can leave it really chunky or process real smooth, or somewhere in between like I did above.
As the sauce is simmering, in another saucepan add your water and a couple of pinches of salt and bring to boil for your pasta.
Meanwhile, dice up your bacon and fry.  Drain on a paper lined plate and set aside.
Let's bring this together...

Using your favorite pasta platter or dish, add your drained pasta and pour the tomato butter sauce over the hot pasta and gently toss.

Sprinkle on your goat cheese.

Add your crumbled crispy bacon.

Finally, add your deep fried basil leaves if desired.  See cook's notes below.

Cook's note:  You can deep fry most herbs.  The deep fried herbs provide a 
beautiful burst of color to any dish and the flavor of the herbs just enhance
it.  Think shrimp and side with a sprig of deep fried dill...
See where I'm going with this?

For the most part, I deep fry my herbs using grapeseed oil.  However, when I'm
using basil, I absolutely adore the flavor of olive oil.  There is just something about
basil and olive oil together, I just adore that combination!!

Deep fry herb ingredients and instructions: 
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs

Clean and dry your herbs.  In a very small saucepan pour in the oil and bring to
medium high temperature.  Very carefully gently add a few basil leaves
(whatever you are working with) into the hot oil.  Back away, they will pop
and splatter, thank heavens they only pop once!!  Let them 
cook for just a few seconds,  remove gently and place onto a paper lined plate.

This sauce is downright addicting, as are the basil leaves!

Shared with Simple Supper Tuesday
Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Didi, I can't wait to try this dish!! My kind of eatin!!

    1. Thank you DeeDee, so very good and easy!!!

  2. OMG...pasta heaven! This is such a unique recipe! Great post!

    1. Thank Lillian!! This is so darn easy too!!!

  3. This looks fabulous!! Thank you for sharing with Simple Supper Tuesday :o)

    1. Thank you so much for hosting Cindy. I cannot wait to view the rest of the recipes!!

  4. omg heading to the store for the goat cheese have all the other ingredients lol was going to make the meat ball recipe but now this is for my dinner will post pic on facebook later today. Thank you for the share looks amazing and I love love love basil

    1. Thank you so much for trying it and sharing your amazingly beautiful pictures with us!! ♥