Recipe by Colu Henry
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 slices (about 4 oz.) thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups (about 10 oz.) cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
12 oz. mezzi rigatoni (small rigatoni)
5 oz. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped, or 5 oz. Swiss chard, center stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup red (sun-dried tomato) pesto
1/2 cup grated ricotta salata, for garnish
1. In a large deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-low. Add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels.
2. Add the tomatoes to the bacon drippings in the skillet. Cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the juices thicken and the tomatoes start to burst, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 4 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the spinach and pesto. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the bacon; season with kosher salt and pepper. Divide among bowls. Garnish with the ricotta salata.