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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.

The story

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 wanted to develop a pasta recipe.

a plate with angel hair pasta and fig bacon jam and topped with Parmesan and parsley.

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 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. And kiddo implemented.

Tips and tricks for this recipe

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.

uncooked bacon slices on a rack in a pan.

crisped bacon slices on a rack in a pan.

Preparing the ingredients

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.

a silicone garlic peeler on the counterop.

We’re all working on knife skills in the house. Kiddo uses our paring knife and not a plastic “kids” knife.

ProTip: There’s a lower risk of injury if your knives are sharp. For kids AND adults.

kiddo chopping peeled garlic.
kiddo breaking apart crisped bacon.

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.

a cutting board with chopped garlic and bacon, onions, and figs soaking in a cup.

Cook over low heat for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until the figs are cooked and the mixture has thickened.

the cooked fig bacon jam in a frying pan.

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 using it for a pasta sauce.

warming the fig bacon jam in the pan.

What to serve with fig 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 on burgers 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.

FAQs about this fig bacon jam pasta

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.

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!

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.

Related recipes

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

5 from 1 vote
Category: Pasta
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1886kcal
This fig bacon jam pasta has a rare balance of sweet and salty, creamy and crispy.
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

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

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.
    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

Notes

This recipe makes 2 cups of fig bacon jam.
This fig bacon jam can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks or the freezer for a few months.

Nutrition

Calories: 1886kcal | Carbohydrates: 264g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 30g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1462mg | Potassium: 1521mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 80g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 363mg | Iron: 6mg
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What’s next?

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