- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, halved
- ½ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 lb box mezzi rigatoni
- 2 cups baby arugula
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Drain bacon on a paper towel–lined plate; pour drippings into a bowl.
2. Return 2 tsp of drippings to skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove crumbs to a plate; wipe out skillet.
3. Add 1 Tbsp of reserved drippings to skillet over medium-high. Add onion and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion softens and begins to brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomatoes and sugar. Crumble in bacon and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes.
4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Add arugula and toss. Divide pasta among bowls; top each serving with toasted bread crumbs.
Photo Credit: Christina Holmes