A delicious twist on the classic Alfredo. Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato will change your ‘go to’ quick dinner forever!
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
- Cream Cheese 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
Ingredients (check list):
- 10.5oz / 300g Penne Pasta
- 1 1/4 cups / 300ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan (plus extra to serve)
- 3/4 cup / 75g Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 handful of Fresh Basil, chopped (save some to sprinkle on top)
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Fry your bacon over medium heat until it begins to crisp. Drain excess fat/oil if there's too much, then add your garlic & sun dried tomatoes and fry for a minute or so longer. Add your Butter and stir until melted.
- At this point pop your pasta in a pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Retain a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining.
- Stir in your cream and allow to simmer on a low/medium heat. When it just starts to thicken add in your parmesan, basil and seasoning to taste.
- Once the sauce has fully thickened add your pasta and toss until coated. Simmer for a few minutes to soak up the sauce, stirring throughout and using your starchy pasta water to thin out if it becomes too thick and gloopy. On the contrary, if the sauce is still too thin just continue to simmer until it wraps itself around the pasta.
- Serve with and extra sprinkle of parmesan and basil!
Quick 1 min demo!
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!