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Pasta with Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese

Bell-shaped noodles are an elegant base for this simple, rustic sauce. Other short pasta, such as penne or gemelli, would also be good choices.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Pasta with Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese

Source: Everyday Food, March 2004


  • 1 pound campanelle
  • 4 slices (4 ounces) bacon, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
  • 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese


  1. Cook pasta. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta water; return pasta to pot.

  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet over medium, turning, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

  3. Add onions, garlic, and thyme to fat in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Uncover; cook until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.

  4. Crumble goat cheese over pasta; add onion mixture and 1 cup reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Toss, adding more pasta water as desired. Serve immediately, sprinkled with bacon and more thyme.

Reviews (18)

  • mmv686 9 Feb, 2015

    I really liked this but my husband found it too dry - maybe it was the goat cheese. I added one sun-dried tomato (soaked before) and some fresh basil at the end. I used 3 strips of bacon for two people but it probably would be even better with more. I will make it again (when hubby isn't home for dinner). The onions, cheese and bacon were really good together.

  • Nicoley-Italia 4 Jun, 2013

    Also... I used a whole pound of thick cut bacon!

  • Nicoley-Italia 4 Jun, 2013

    This is by far my favorite of Martha's recipes, and I do love several of her recipes! The dish is flavorful,indulgent and just incredible. I don't like onions but these onions are divine! Every person I've made this for has asked forthe recipe, and whenever I make it there are no leftovers! I would not switch out the goat cheese for any other cheese, I actually double the goat cheese (naughty I know, but I did say it is indulgent). Make sure you do save some pasta water to mix!

  • CarmelinaCAN 8 May, 2011

    So tasty! I didn't have all the ingredients so i substituted the thyme for sage and the soft goat cheese for goat cheddar. Lovely afternoon meal!

  • lastnametaylor 11 Feb, 2009

    I made this last night and my boyfriend LOVED it! - we thought it could use a little more bacon and perhaps peas or capers might taste good...

  • girlymom 9 Feb, 2009

    We loved it !!! and so did our 4 year old ( our six year old only ate the bacon- but that's typical)

  • Aracelita 6 Feb, 2009


  • wezbo 6 Feb, 2009

    do not be afraid to think of onions as a VEGETABLE! And if you cook it really slowly and softly it just goes creamy and sweet. White and yellow onions will literally go "creamy" and do not forget to add all the salt for your whole recipe to the onions and fat in the very beginning. This last is not applicable here as the bacon is already salty but it prevents burning.

  • pattipoopidoo 6 Feb, 2009

    wow,I'd love to try this, but is it a really oniony pasta? I love onions but red onions are large as it is, and that seems like alot of onion per serving; is it?

  • myrnie_twin 6 Feb, 2009

    I made this with egg noodles, and added two chopped roma tomatoes and 3 chopped green onions when I stirred the goat cheese in. I just realized I never added the pasta water...but it was fantastic! Really yummy.

  • pmelros 5 Feb, 2009

    There are all kinds of lower fat bacon available at grocery stores, I wonder how panceta would work. Once in awhile its ok to have real bacon. Whole wheat pasta is a good balance. Can't wait to try this, any thing with bacon has got to taste good.

  • hofhine68 5 Feb, 2009

    I'm going to make this tonight! Four slices of bacon divided among six people is just enough for flavor. If you were on weight watchers, 3 pieces of bacon would b a serving, and one ounce of soft goat cheeese would be a serving. This dish has about 2/3 of ONE slice of bacon and 2/3 of ONE ounce of soft goat cheese in each serving. You can add extra onions and use a whole wheat pasta...YUM!

  • choosycook 5 Feb, 2009

    I'd love to know the nutritional score on this one..... sounds not too heart healthy!

  • sexyLAMBCHOPx 5 Feb, 2009

    Cant wait to try this. Will use yellow onions though b/c thats all I have!

  • twsvensson 4 Apr, 2008

    DELICIOUS! Do bacon

  • lmeisner 9 Mar, 2008

    The whole family thought this was delicious. We used turkey bacon and a multigrain/flax pasta just to be a little more healthful -- and still very yummy!

  • shirty 29 Dec, 2007

    This recipe is out of this world. I would service it for company for sure! Very special taste!

  • loewus9 26 Dec, 2007

    this needs some heat! 1)add 2 cloves garlic minced, to be sauteed with onions towards the end of the cooking.2)Add crushed red pepper flakes to the onions, about a teaspoonful more or less! 3)Use a little more than 4oz cheese!

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