Fig Bacon Jam Pasta
This fig bacon jam pasta has a rare balance of sweet and salty, creamy and crispy. Make the fig bacon jam ahead of time and you have a meal that comes together in the time it takes to cook pasta.
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 had 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 wanted to develop a pasta recipe.
She was insistent on using angel hair pasta. Right away it’s clear this isn’t my recipe.
I hate angel hair pasta. It has a narrow window between when it’s done and when it’s overdone and sticking to everything. 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.
Worst case scenario was that we end up with a bunch of bacon jam. There are definitely worse predicaments.
So I put together a recipe for a fig pasta sauce. And kiddo implemented.
Tips and tricks
Cooking the bacon
First step. Cook bacon until crisp. I would normally crisp bacon in a cast iron pan, but there was too much bacon for that.
Preparing the ingredients
Next step. Chop the 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.
Tip from the wise quacker: there’s a lower risk (for both kids AND adults) of injury if your knives are sharp. That’s because sharp knives are less likely to slip. So sharpen your knives regularly, or have a professional do it if you can.
It helps that size doesn’t matter for this, because it all goes into the food processor in the end.
Making the fig bacon jam
The requisite ingredients shot, poorly photographed (sorry!), ready to be cooked and then blitzed in the food processor or blender for bacon fig jam.
Cook over low heat for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until the figs are cooked and the mixture has thickened.
Add the jam to your food processor or blender and process until smooth. You can keep the fig bacon jam warm in the pan if you’re making the fig bacon jam pasta.
What to serve with fig bacon jam
We use this fig bacon jam on turkey sandwiches and bacon jam and cream cheese sandwiches. Just imagine a fig bacon jam burger or a bacon jam grilled cheese sandwich.
Add fig bacon jam to your next cheese plate with a creamy brie. If there’s wine as well, I would pick a lighter wine within the category of medium-bodied reds like a Carmenere or Cabernet Franc.
Substitutions and variations
- Use dates, dried cherries, dried apricots, or prunes instead of the dried figs.
- Use maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
- Add a bit of bourbon!
- Use a different pasta shape instead of angel hair pasta.
Partially. You could make the fig bacon jam at any time, and then it would take only as long as pasta needs to cook to get it on the table!
Yes, bacon jam will keep in a jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or you can freeze it for a few months.
We love dried figs as a snack. Or you can make homemade fig newtons with them.
If you love this fig bacon jam pasta, check out the pasta archives for other great recipes like this tuna pesto pasta, pink sauce pasta, cavatappi alfredo, or cavatappi mac and cheese.
Fig Bacon Jam Pasta
- Food processor or blender
Fig bacon jam
- 12 strips (¾ pound) bacon
- 1 cup (about 15) dried figs, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (if not using bacon fat for cooking)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup (48 grams) light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Fig bacon jam pasta
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- cream or reserved pasta water for thinning as necessary
- 1 ounce Parmesan, grated for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for serving
Fig bacon jam
- Cook the bacon until crispy, and then remove to a plate with paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan to cook the bacon jam, if desired.12 strips (¾ pound) bacon
- 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 to 20 minutes. Drain.1 cup (about 15) dried figs, stems removed
- Heat the reserved bacon fat or oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions and cook about 10 minutes until soft and just starting to brown.1 tablespoon olive oil (if not using bacon fat for cooking), 1 medium onion, chopped
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring for one minute.1 garlic clove, chopped
- 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.12 strips (¾ pound) bacon, 1 cup (about 15) dried figs, stems removed, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup (48 grams) light brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 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.1 pound angel hair pasta
- 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.cream or reserved pasta water for thinning
- Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan and garnished with the chopped parsley.1 ounce Parmesan, grated, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
If you make this fig bacon jam pasta or just the fig bacon jam, please leave a comment and rating here. Pretty please.
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