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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 fig bacon jam pasta recipe

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
a silicone garlic peeler on the counterop

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. There’s a lower risk of injury with using sharp knives. For kids AND adults.

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

kiddo chopping peeled garlic
kiddo breaking apart crisped bacon

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, a bowl of chopped onions, and figs soaking in a cup

FAQs about this 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!

the cooked fig bacon jam in a frying pan

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 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 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp 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 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.
    12 strips (3/4 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 10-20 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 ~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 (3/4 pound) bacon, 1 cup (about 15) dried figs, stems removed, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup (48 grams) light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp 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 tbsp chopped parsley

Notes

This fig bacon jam can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks or the freezer for a few months.

What’s next?

If you make this fig bacon jam pasta or just the fig bacon jam, please comment here or share a pic with me on instagram!

Check out the pasta archives for other great recipes like this tuna pesto pasta, pasta with a pink sauce, cavatappi alfredo, or cavatappi mac and cheese.

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warming the fig bacon jam in the pan

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