A delicious twist on the classic Alfredo. Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato will change your ‘go to’ quick dinner forever!
As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!
Sometimes your belly just calls for the simple things in life. The simply gorgeously, creamy and flavoursome things that is. Penne Alfredo is one of those dishes that you won’t see being made the same way twice; an ambassador of variation if you will. For me? I like a Penne with some very ‘non classic’ additions. Italians, forgive me.
A traditional Alfredo sauce actually doesn’t involve cream. In fact its creamy texture comes from an emulsion of butter, cheese and pasta water. A classic Alfredo also uses Fettuccine. My Alfredo? Well, it certainly may not be traditional, but it’s ridiculously tasty nevertheless.
The stars of the show here are bacon, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Yes, an unfamiliar combo not have in a creamy pasta recipe, but it totally works.
Alongside all the above, we are of course going in with some cream. I can hear the sound of Italian tears hitting the floor, but, I’ve already put the ‘non-traditional’ disclaimer out so we can throw in anything we want, can’t we? That’s how it works isn’t it?! 😂 Anywho, follow me.
Making Creamy Penne Alfredo
Making this dish truly couldn’t be easier. People are always so surprised when I show them the recipe for this because it really does taste like so much more effort has gone into it than actually has. This recipe is SO simple and requires such little ingredients; which is quite hard to believe after how beautiful it tastes. So smooth and silky, yet tangy and bursting with flavour.
Starchy Pasta Water
One of the key ingredients in a creamy pasta recipe is the water you cook the pasta in. Admittedly there is a good amount of fat in this recipe, and as such, it runs the possibility of the sauce turning greasy/oily. We don’t want to get rid of the fat, because the fat brings with it a huge amount of flavour.
By stirring through some starchy pasta water, you help emulsify the fats, to help turn the sauce extra creamy, as opposed to oily.
How to make Creamy Penne Alfredo (quick summary)
- Fry bacon in a little oil until nice and crispy. Drain fat if there’s too much.
- Add garlic and sun dried tomatoes and fry for a further minute or so.
- Add butter.
- Pour in cream, allow to simmer, then add basil, parmesan and seasoning.
- Add in cooked penne.
- Stir through and thin out with pasta water if needed.
Tips for the perfect Penne Alfredo
Go easy on the salt and make sure you use unsalted butter. Bacon and parmesan are both fairly salty so just ensure you don’t go overboard with the seasoning. A good amount of black pepper however is encouraged.
2. Pasta Water
As discussed, creamy pasta dishes often thicken and go gloopy quite quickly, so use your pasta water to thin out when necessary.
3. Al Dente Pasta
There’s nothing worse than overly soft pasta, so make sure you boil it until it’s only just cooked. It will finish cooking in the pan.
To serve, I usually sprinkle with extra parmesan and fresh basil, but this is totally optional!
And there we have it. All my top tips have officially leaked from my brain.
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?
Creamy Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta (or Creamy Mushroom Pasta)
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Salmon Pasta
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Creamy Chicken Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this penne Alfredo with bacon & sun dried tomato shall we?!
How to make Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato (Full Recipe & Video)
Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
- Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Large Pot & Colander
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Fine Cheese Grater
- Mug/Cup (for scooping pasta water)
Ingredients (check list):
- 10.5oz / 300g Penne Pasta
- 1 1/4 cups / 300ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
- 3/4 cup / 100g Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced
- 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve if desired
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced (~1 large clove of garlic)
- 1/2 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced (1/2oz/15g)
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Add the bacon to a large pan over medium heat and fry until crisp with the fat rendered down. Drain away fat if there is excess (a tsp or so is fine, just eyeball it).
- At this point pop the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Retain a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining.
- Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to the bacon and fry for a minute or so, just before the garlic begins to pick up colour. Add the butter and stir until melted.
- Stir in the cream and allow to simmer on low-medium heat for 5 or so minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir in the parmesan, basil and seasoning to taste (go easy on the salt, may already be salty enough). The sauce should be fairly thick at this point.
- Stir in the cooked pasta alongside a splash of the starchy pasta water. Continue to toss until the sauce thickens around the pasta and clings to it, thinning out with more pasta water if needed. If you go overboard with the water, just continue to gently simmer & stir until the sauce wraps itself around the pasta.
- Serve with an extra sprinkle of parmesan if desired.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
If you loved this Penne Alfredo recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up for free ecookbook on the way!