This is the pasta sauce I crave more than any other. It’s easy to make and perfect when there’s a finicky eater at the table because the bacon is irresistible. You can combine the simple flavours of a great tomato sauce with crowd-pleasing bacon, and you’re guaranteed a winner.

Yield: Serves 4


8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
One 28-ounce (796 mL) can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fresh thyme, rosemary or oregano
A sprinkle or two of sea salt and freshly grated pepper
One 1-pound (450 g) box of penne


Toss the bacon into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of water. Cook until the water evaporates and the bacon begins to brown. Continue stirring, lowering the heat a notch, until the bacon is crispy and brown. Drain away most (or some) of its fat, leaving enough behind to sauté the vegetables.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until they soften and begin to caramelize. Pour in the tomatoes, rinsing out the can with a splash of water and adding that too. Sprinkle in the herb of your choice and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Cook penne in lots of boiling salted water. Toss with the sauce and enjoy!


You can use any type of pastas and type of canned tomatoes for this sauce. If you choose whole tomatoes, purée them before you add them to the sauce so the bacon can stay chunky. For a decadent treat and a richer flavour, you can leave all of the bacon fat in the pot. If you don’t have any fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, rosemary or thyme will work well too.