Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Total Time
20 Mins
4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Orecchiette (little ears pasta) is a classic shape that's ideal for this chunky sauce. You can also substitute short pasta shapes like penne or rigatoni. If you can find mild-tasting cavolo nero (black kale), try it here.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes or until almost tender. Add kale, and cook 2 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Step 2

While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; crumble and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add pasta mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, black pepper, and salt to pan; toss to combine. Top pasta mixture evenly with bacon and cheese; drizzle evenly with lemon juice.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

Very good, quick and easy

June 22, 2016
The orecchiette took about 15 minutes and the kale about 3-4.  Other than that, this went together easily and was very flavorful.  Will make again.

Delicious pasta!

April 09, 2016
I made the recipe exactly as listed and enjoyed it very much. However, I found it to be a bit watery so I let it sit in the pan and cook a bit longer after combining. Next time, I will add more sun-dried tomatoes, as the bacon overpowered them. I will also either reduce or omit the pasta water, and reduce the crushed red pepper so the other flavors can shine. Either way, I highly recommend!

kale goes with everything….

November 07, 2015
i thought this was pretty good.  followed other suggestions by adding more sd tomatoes and a can of beans….(used light kidney)  served bacon on the side (cooked whole package) so it would stay crisp for leftovers.   husband thought it was dry, so might try adding a little broth next time.   the leftovers could be made into a great soup!!  

One of my favorite recipes!

September 05, 2015
I've been making this for a long time now, and it's one of my family's favorite dinner recipes. My husband likes a little bit of chicken added to this. I dump the entire jar of julienned sundried tomatoes into the skillet, oil and all, because the oil is infused with the flavor of the sundried tomatoes and herbs. Love, love, love!

thehymes's Review

January 28, 2015
One of the easiest, fastest, tastiest Cooking Light recipes we've tried. We used veggie bacon to make it vegetarian and the flavor/texture was still delicious. A filling, savory, and satisfying meal — will definitely be making again.

cheesefries's Review

February 28, 2014

KristiJF's Review

February 01, 2014

Cabel0515's Review

January 22, 2014
This was quick and easy and my family loved it! My teenaged son's comment, "so many flavors." I agree. It may have been 4 servings, but they liked it so much that three of us finished off the whole thing. Well worth repeating.

NormaLang's Review

January 18, 2014
I doubled the recipe and the bacon. I would count the red pepper in half personally and add additional kale. The flavor was fantastic and my husband thought this meal was spectacular. Super easy to make.

jess3315's Review

January 06, 2014
Awesome dish! When I was cooking it I felt like it was going to be way to light and lacking in flavor... boy was I dead wrong. This pasta packs a decent amount of heat, and I loved it. This is my new favorite quick pasta recipe.