inspired by Taste and Tell
4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
16 oz ham steak (or thick sliced from the deli), cubed
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 oz dry penne pasta
16 oz diced pineapple (fresh or canned)
1 cup (4 oz) mozzarella cheese
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
Add the cubed ham and onion to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the ham is browned and the onion is just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the tomato sauce, water, basil, oregano, salt and pepper flakes. Stir to combine, then add the pasta and stir again. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes (stir one or two times during cooking to make sure nothing is sticking).
Stir in the pineapple and reserved bacon, then remove from the heat. Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the mozzarella and cover again. Let the dish sit until the mozzarella is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
When our friend Amy shared this link on Facebook, Steve saw it before I did and immediately asked me to make it. He’s a fan of the combination of flavors that go into Hawaiian pizza and was quite taken with the idea of turning that into a pasta. I just love anything one-pan/one-pot so I was all over it.
It took me three tries to get the ratios exactly where we wanted them – less bacon, more ham, more pineapple, add red onion, more herbs – but I finally got it exactly right for us and man oh man is it ever good, as delicious as Steve hoped it would be. If you like Hawaiian pizza, this is a must-try. You won’t be disappointed.