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Cheap Luxury: Gorgonzola and Bacon Pasta

By Nick Schonberger

The New Year always brings new promises. Sadly, in a recession, some of those promises don't bode well for the wallet. In times like these, it is important to think about stocking your pantry with affordable bits and pieces that can form truly wonderful meals. Pasta, as we've mentioned many times, works as a fine base for many a glorious meal. But penne and Ragu gets old fast. Thankfully, you can add some pizazz to your '09 diet with just a few more relatively cheap staples on hand. Here's a flavorful dish I threw together recently with some cherry tomatoes, bacon, and Gorgonzola. It's a great winter warmer that takes less than 20 minutes.

What You'll Need:

* 10-12 Cherry tomatoes
* 2 Cloves Garlic
* Olive Oil
* Gorgonzola (to taste, bearing in mind that it's hard to have too much cheese)
* 3-4 strips of bacon
* A tubular pasta, like Rigatoni

Begin by cooking the bacon. I often trim the excess fat off, but this is largely unnecessary. Once cooked through and bordering on crisp, remove and set aside. (Note: you can either clean this pan or go for a fresh one at this time). Quarter your cherry tomatoes and dice the garlic. Cook this mix with an ample splash of olive oil until the tomatoes are broken down nicely. At this point add salt and pepper, then crumble in your bacon. Cook for a few minutes longer on medium heat, then combine the Gorgonzola, allowing it to melt fully and creating a creamy sauce.

Boil pasta as desired, then toss it around in sauce. Slice up some bread, grab a glass of 2 Buck Chuck and live the high life.

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