This Brie Pasta is silky smooth, outrageously delicious and easy to make. Better still, you only need 5 main ingredients!
This is such a simple recipe but it truly works. Along with a few extra goodies, the brie really takes a regular cheesy pasta to knew heights! Follow me…
Much to your surprise I’m sure, bacon is one of the 5 additions to this brie pasta. Bacon and brie is a glorious combo (see bacon brie cranberry grilled cheese / brie blackberry bacon croissants). Not only does it form a flavour profile of salty goodness, but the difference in texture with the crisp bacon and gooey brie is to die for.
What kind of bacon to use?
You’re going to want to use streaky bacon, or a cut with a good amount of fat. This way we can render it down and use the leftover fat to kick off the rest of the recipe. I find streaky bacon crisps up easier, which works great in this recipe. I recommend dicing the bacon after it’s fried, just because it’s much easier and you can then share a chopping board with the other ingredients.
Low ‘n’ Slow
To render down as much of the fat as possible you really want to fry on a low-medium heat, otherwise you end up with cooked bacon with rubbery fat! Cooking fairly low and slow also means you don’t need added oil as the bacon fries in its own fat.
Process shots: add bacon to pan (photo 1), fry both sides until crisp then remove from pan (photo 2).
The second star ingredient in this pasta is caramelized onions. Why caramelized you say? Two reasons:
- Texture – We don’t necessarily need the texture of the onion, because we’ve got the bacon. Just fried onions will be way too overbearing for the pasta!
- Sweetness – The sweetness is a crucial element to balance out the saltiness of the bacon and brie.
Making caramelized onions is incredibly simple. As long as you’re gently frying on low heat, and making sure the onions don’t catch the pan and brown, you can’t go wrong. The lower and slower you go the softer and sweeter the onions will be.
Process shots: add onion to leftover bacon fat (photo 1), gently fry until very soft and golden (photo 2).
Making Brie Pasta
Okay, the onions take a little time, but it’s all smooth sailing from here out.
Starchy Pasta Water
Whilst I don’t consider water to be a main ingredient, this is a crucial step in making the brie pasta sauce. Adding some of the starchy water your pasta is cooked in will help create a smooth and creamy sauce. If you simply just melt in the brie it’ll clump up and dry out very quickly. The starch molecules in the water help emulsify the fats in the sauce and create a nice glossy consistency.
Alongside the bacon, caramelized onions and the brie itself, the final two ingredients to really bring this dish together are lemon juice and thyme. The lemon juice cuts through the richness of the sauce, whilst the thyme adds a final burst of flavour which not only pairs perfectly with bacon and brie, but also the lemon juice too.
Process shots: stir in pasta water (photo 1), add brie (photo 2), stir to melt (photo 3), add pasta (photo 4), stir (photo 5), stir in bacon, lemon juice and thyme (photo 6).
Brie Pasta FAQ
Do I have to remove the rind of the Brie?
Yes, I highly recommend doing so. Although it can be a bit of a faff, the rind doesn’t melt particularly well and will just clump up in the sauce.
Can I sub Camembert?
Whilst camembert and brie have a very similar texture, I find camembert to have a slightly more intense flavour than brie. This pasta takes on the creamier tones of brie much better.
What Pasta to use?
Any pasta will work! Here I’ve used Gigli which worked perfectly.
Serving Brie Pasta
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this bacon brie pasta shall we?!
How to make Brie Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Brie Pasta (with bacon & caramelized onions!)
- Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Pot & Colander
Ingredients (check list):
- 7oz / 200g Pasta of choice, here I've used Gigli
- 7oz / 200g block of Brie, rind removed and diced into chunks
- 6 slices of Streaky Bacon (see notes)
- 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme (approx 2 sprigs)
- Salt & Black Pepper, as needed
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Bacon: add bacon to a pan over low-medium heat and fry both sides until crisp with the fat fully rendered down. Remove bacon and leave the fat in the pan. Dice just before needed.
- Onions: add onion to the leftover fat and fry for around 10mins until they just start to pick up colour (add more oil if needed). Turn heat to low and gently caramelize the onions until golden, sticky and very soft (around 30-40mins). This process is important to sweat down the onions and sweeten them, the lower and slower you fry the more caramelized they'll be.
- Pasta: just before the onions are finished, pop your pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta just before draining.
- Brie: whisk 1/2 cup/120ml starchy pasta water in with the onions then melt in the brie.
- Serve: toss in pasta then stir in 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp thyme and the diced bacon, using more starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed. Season with salt and black pepper (careful with salt as bacon and brie already salty) then serve up and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
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Cheese Pasta Recipes
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