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5 from 4 votes

Pasta with Bacon Meatballs and Tomatoes

These meatballs are so fabulous. Be sure the pieces of bacon are sticking out on the outside so they crisp up. The drippings make a wonderful base for the pan sauce.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6


  • 16 ounces ground pork
  • 5 slices bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 ounces small shell pasta
  • 2 small shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 red tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups spinach or kale, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  • In a medium bowl, combine pork and bacon. Once mixed, form 1 inch meatballs. Pieces of the bacon should be visible.
  • In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs. Cook and stir until meatballs are browned on all sides and bacon is crisp, 8- 10 minutes. Remove meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels using a slotted spoon. Reserve one Tbsp of drippings in the skillet. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to directions on box. Once cooked, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water when draining.
  • Cook shallot in reserved drippings, over medium-high heat, for 3-4 minutes, scraping up any brown pieces. Return meatballs to skillet. Add tomatoes, cook 2-3 minutes. Add pasta and spinach, tossing to combine. Add pasta liquid to moisten pasta. Season with salt and pepper and top with shaved Parmesan when serving.