02/25/2013 09:10 am ET

Homecoming Meals: The Recipe Michael Symon Likes To Cook At Home (PHOTOS)

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We've been thinking a lot lately about the chefs, musicians, comedians, actors and others whose career frequently takes them out on the road, into more airplanes, restaurants and hotel bars than they can count. When they finally settle back in at home, what do they want to cook for themselves? We asked, and they just started telling us! Find out their answers in our series, Homecoming Meals.

When you ask an Iron Chef what their ideal Homecoming Meal would be, a simple pasta dish you'll be able to nail in your own home is a pleasant surprise. But when that Iron Chef is Michael Symon, that pasta dish will also include bacon, jalapeño and some great advice about how to not ruin your pasta (spoiler alert: don't rinse it!). Chef Symon is not what we'd call a shrinking violet. In addition to being an Iron Chef, real chef, restaurateur and cooking show host, Symon has found the time to write cookbooks, win awards, make innumerable tv appearances and act as spokesman for Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" campaign. Which is why we found it especially endearing that his ideal Homecoming Meal would be whatever tastes good and gets him sitting down with the one he loves as quickly as possible.

We love the sound of this recipe almost as much as we love Symon's signature giggle.

"When I get home, I like to make bucatini with bacon, tomato and jalapeño. The recipe is delicious, but also super quick and convenient to make. After I've been traveling, I prefer to get something on the table for myself and Lizzie quickly so that we can enjoy each other’s company."

Bucatini with Bacon, Tomato and Jalapeño
Recipe Courtesy of Michael Symon
Serves 4

1 pound bucatini or perciatelli pasta
1 pound bacon, cut into large dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 cups whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
½ cup reserved pasta water
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt to taste

In a very large pot, bring 5 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to boil. When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook until just al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove the pasta from the water and set aside. Do not rinse the pasta under water as it will wash away the starch. Reserve a half cup of pasta water before emptying the pot.

Meanwhile, place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Don’t drain off the bacon fat. To this add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water and simmer until the pasta is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the parsley, butter and parmesan. Stir well and serve immediately.

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