This goes back to my college days (GO CUSE!) when we'd have fancy (non-dining hall) Sunday dinners. I created this one during a last minute trip to the grocery store when I forgot I was hosting and crunched for time and cash. It combines some of my favorite foods in what may seem to be random way, but, trust me, the end result is quite tasty. I use it mostly on tortellini (even more cheese is always a good thing) but I'd recommend it on any pasta. Over the years I've updated my cooking methods since I now have a somewhat larger kitchen and a functioning oven. —Abduffy
approx 12 oz.
To Cook the Bacon
good quality bacon (Applewood smoked is great for this)
The rest of it
reserved bacon fat
small onion diced (approx. 8 oz)
medium sized baking apples (Honeycrisp or Pinklady are great if you can find them) diced
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place uncooked bacon on foil and cook at 400 degrees until crispy (approx. 20 minutes). Do not pre-heat the oven.
Drain bacon on paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Once the bacon is drained break into bite sized pieces and set aside.
The rest of it
Place bacon fat, butter, and olive oil in large saute pan. Heat on low until the mixture just starts sizzling.
Turn heat up to medium and add onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions just start to turn translucent.
Add apples, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are a caramel color and apples are softer and a golden brown, approx. 10 minutes. Stir the mixture while it cooks to prevent the apples from sticking too much and to brown the apples on all sides.
Once apple/onion mixture is cooked remove half of it and set aside. Add the 1/2 & 1/2 to remaining mixture and lower temperature to medium low and cook an additional 2 minutes until the mixture starts to simmer, stirring to de-glaze the pan while it cooks.
Add the apple cider to the pan and stir and cook an additional 1 minute. It may appear to curdle but don't worry we'll be blending it.
Remove the pan from stove and place the mixture in a blender or food processor.
And Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the reserved cooked bacon and pulse until combined but still a little chunky. It should have the consistency of homemade applesauce.
Place blended mixture in a bowl and combine with the remaining cooked bacon and apple/onion mixture.
Add your favorite pasta to the sauce and top with even more cheese and enjoy!