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In many Italian pasta dishes, you’ll find unsmoked cured pork, like pancetta or guanciale. These dishes, however, use American-style bacon in all of its smoky glory.
1. With capers and mint
Take a cue from the Amalfi Coast and brighten up a basic bacon pasta dish with briny capers, cherry tomatoes and herbs.
2. Cheesy and baked
Add bacon to a luscious riff on mac and cheese.
3. With bitter greens
4. Baked, with cauliflower
How do you make a creamy, cheesy bacon pasta dish (slightly) healthier? Reduce the amount of pasta you use by subbing in some cauliflower.
5. With brussels sprouts
Bacon and brussels sprouts are a classic match. Why not toss with pasta?
6. With clams
Make a mash-up of chowder and linguine and clams by adding bacon to your alle vongole.
7. With shrimp
Love bacon-wrapped shrimp? Then toss the smoky meat in your shrimp pasta dish and a winey tomato sauce.
Mario Batali’s version of this Italian-American classic, which is essentially a spicy, bacon-y tomato sauce, is as satisfying as ever.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016) and the blog Eat Better, Drink Better. She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.