Fig Bacon Jam Pasta

Fig Bacon Jam Pasta

This fig bacon jam pasta has a rare balance of sweet and salty, creamy and crispy. I know some of you will have no interest in reading a story about how my kiddo dreamed up this recipe. If that applies to you, please feel free to jump to the recipe.

For everyone else, let me tell you how fun it is to watch one’s kiddo get creative in the kitchen.

We have been getting monthly cooking boxes for about six months now, and one of the challenges she loves is the “create your own…” So for the last few weeks, she has been wanting to develop a pasta recipe.

She was insistent on using angel hair pasta. You’ll know right away that this isn’t my recipe, because I hate angel hair pasta. It has such a narrow window when it’s done, and then I find it’s so much more likely to stick. Especially when it takes a good minute to get everyone to the table. But that’s what she wanted.

We talked a bit about what sauces go best with long noodles and which could go with short pastas. And she decided that she wanted bacon jam on her angel hair pasta. So I googled.

Ok, well, at least it’s a thing. Worst case scenario was that we end up with a bunch bacon jam. There are definitely worse predicaments.

So I put together a recipe (full disclosure – the inclusion of figs was mine). And kiddo implemented.

First step. Cook bacon until crisp. I would normally crisp bacon in a cast iron pan, but there was too much bacon for that.

Twelve strips of raw bacon on a baking rack in a baking sheet

Twelve strips of cooked bacon on a baking rack in a baking sheet
A red silicone garlic peeler

Next step. Chop onions, garlic, and bacon. I don’t usually use this silicone garlic peeler for one clove of garlic, but I trusted kiddo with this so much more than having her smash the clove.

We’re all working on knife skills in the house. Kiddo uses our paring knife and not a plastic “kids” knife. Surprisingly, there’s a lower risk of injury with a sharp knife. For kids AND adults.

It helps that size doesn’t matter for this, because it all goes into the food processor in the end.

A child cutting a clove of garlic
A child ripping apart strips of cooked bacon

The requisite ingredients shot, poorly photographed (sorry!)

ingredients for fig bacon jam including chopped garlic and bacon on a cutting board, chopped onions in a bowl, and dried figs soaking in a measuring cup

Frequently asked questions about fig bacon jam pasta

What are some other uses for bacon jam?

We have also used this fig bacon jam on turkey sandwiches and for a bacon jam and cream cheese sandwich. I am dreaming of using this bacon jam for burgers. And as part of a cheese plate with a creamy brie. Or a bacon jam grilled cheese sandwich. Or you could just eat it with a spoon.

Can I freeze fig bacon jam?

Yes, bacon jam will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or you can freeze it for a few months.

What pasta can I use instead of angel hair pasta?

If it were me, I would have chosen spaghetti or linguine, but you could use any shape you like.

Can I use other dried fruit in place of the figs?

Dates, dried cherries, dried apricots, or prunes would all work as substitutes.

What wine would go well with this fig bacon jam pasta?

I would probably pick a lighter wine in the category of medium-bodied reds like a Carmenere or Cabernet Franc.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Partially. You could make the bacon jam at any time, and then it would take only as long as pasta needs to cook to get it on the table!

Fig bacon jam pasta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups of fig bacon jam
Author uglyducklingbakery

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

Fig bacon jam

  • 12 strips (3/4 lb) bacon
  • 1 cup (~15) dried figs, stems removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (if not using bacon fat for cooking)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup (48g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Fig bacon jam pasta

  • 1 lb (16 oz) angel hair pasta
  • cream or reserved pasta water for thinning as necessary
  • 1 oz Parmesan, grated for serving
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley for serving

Instructions

Fig bacon jam

  • Cook the bacon until crispy, and then remove to a plate with paper towels. Reserve 1 tbsp of bacon fat from the pan to cook the bacon jam, if desired.
  • When the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop or break it apart into small pieces.
  • Meanwhile, place the figs in a heatproof measuring cup and cover with boiling water to rehydrate for 10-20 minutes. Drain.
  • Heat the reserved bacon fat or oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions and cook ~10 minutes until soft and just starting to brown.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring for one minute.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (bacon, drained figs, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and black and red pepper) and cook over low heat for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until the figs are cooked and the mixture has thickened.
  • Transfer the entire mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer the bacon jam back to the pan to keep it warm until ready to use.

Fig bacon jam pasta

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water. When al dente, reserve a cup of pasta water and then drain.
  • Immediately return the pasta to the pasta pot and add the bacon jam, mixing quickly (I find tongs easiest). You may need to add some of the reserved pasta water or some cream for ease of mixing.
  • Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan and garnished with the chopped parsley.

What next?

If you make this fig bacon jam pasta or just the fig bacon jam, please comment and/or share a pic!

Check out the pasta archives for other great recipes like this tuna pesto pasta.

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a frying pan with pureed fig bacon jam and a silicone spatula



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