Fire Roasted Pasta

What I love most about cooking and food is it’s power to bring people together, and to create lasting memories. My favorite memory of this dish was back in June of 2009 when Marta flew to Los Angeles to help Brent and I pack up and move to Washington DC. Brent, Marta and I had just gone on our final run to the Santa Monica Pier, a run that Brent and I had grow to love during our time in Los Angeles. After a beautiful run to the beach, it was time to clean our the refrigerator and get creative in the kitchen. Mama taught us never to waste even the smallest bit of food, so the peppered bacon and red onion had to go to use. Marta and Brent have been raving about “Bacon Pasta” ever since. I like to call it Fire Roasted Pasta. It sounds a little more sophisticated. It is delicious, inexpensive, and healthy. Enjoy! 

1 pound whole wheat penne
8 slices peppered bacon
1 large red onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup chicken stock
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes
Enough chopped parsley to make you happy


Boil water with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, slice the bacon into small pieces. With a bit of olive oil, crisp over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan to keep them nice and crispy. Add the onion and garlic to the same pan used to cook the bacon. Cook for five minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and stock, and a bit of pepper. (No need for salt. The bacon is salty enough) Simmer for 15 minutes. Toss the pasta with the sauce, and stir in the reserved bacon and parsley. Top with parmesan and enjoy!

The Marta-ini

March 31st was a big deal in the Johnson family. Baby Marta turned 21! Marta is a cosmopolitan girl. Miller light and cheap vodka won’t do it for her. She celebrates in style. I came across this cocktail, and knew it would be the perfect way to celebrate Marta. It is a fresh, festive and fun cocktail!

   6 oz cranberry juice
   2 oz FRESH lime juice
   8 oz Grand Marnier
   16 oz rose champagne
Pour cranberry juice, lime juice and Grand Marnier into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until  the  cocktail shaker is super cold, then pour into a martini glass. Top with champagne, and drink immediately.    Serves 4.