This delicious gorgonzola pasta with bacon and caramelized vegetables is a super easy dinner recipe that’s luxurious enough to serve for a romantic dinner (or Valentine’s Day). Pair this with a glass of cabernet or a dry rose for a really incredible meal. Enjoy!
The Pasta Backstory
Many years ago, after finally becoming stable enough to not be paycheck-to-paycheck, I would go out to a fancy dinner at least once a month if I could. This seemed like the best way to reward myself for having worked hard – with a really amazing meal and a great bottle of wine. Plus, it felt more “adult” to be at a restaurant for once and feel comfortable getting that bottle of wine, apps, dinner, and dessert. I’d get some baked brie with lots of fixings, a pasta, and crème brulee and really indulge. Being able to order those things and enjoy a long meal seemed like something elusive when I was younger. It felt really good to be able to do this for myself, almost as an act of self love. It made those meals really special for me, even though the meal and the dishes themselves were very simple.
Now that I’m older, I don’t really feel the same way about when I go out for dinner with respect to it making me feel more “adult” (though I probably should), but I do still feel grateful for the time or space away from the day-to-day slog that the meal and experience provides. I am reminded of this when I make this pasta, which is similar to one of the pastas I had while out for a night of youthful decadence. I hope this also reminds you to slow down and enjoy the moment and the meal.
Gorgonzola Pasta with Bacon and Caramelized Vegetables
- 1 pound medium shell pasta
- 6-8 slices thick sliced bacon
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, reserving the green parts for garnish
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 oz gorgonzola, crumbled or sliced (or about 1 cup)
- Pepper to taste
- Set a pot of water to boil and prepare pasta per packaging instructions.
- Next, in a large pan or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until just done. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- In the bacon fat, caramelize the onions and bell pepper, about 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally. Toss the white and light green parts of the scallions into the pan and cook for 1-2 more minutes to soften. Remove the vegetables from the pan and drain with the bacon (it’s all going to go back into the pan together so it can co-mingle).
- Drain as much bacon fat from the pan as you can, leaving some residual (this is great for cooking with later flavor-wise). In the same pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter has completely melted, add the heavy cream and bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.
- Reduce heat to low and add the gorgonzola. Melt the gorgonzola into the cream, stirring frequently (a few lumps is fine). Add pepper to taste.
- Add the bacon and the vegetables back to the pot with the cream sauce and toss to incorporate. Allow everything to come back to heat, then serve immediately, topped with the green parts of the scallions for garnish.
Want some other romantic dinner ideas? What about this Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta with Red Grapes? Or this Roasted Beet Salad with Caraway Crème?
Maybe make some sticky salted date toffee and peanut butter bars for dessert? Or these Double Chocolate Toffee Banana Muffins?
Oh, and some flowers?
What are you doing this Valentine’s Day?