One-Pot Creamy Kimchi Shells

one pot creamy kimchi pasta with bacon
PHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: SIMON ANDREWS

This tangy, rich pasta kind of feels like mac & cheese’s cool older cousin. Maybe that’s because it comes complete with 3 layers of umami flavor: kimchi, Parmesan, and gochujang, a Korean fermented red chili paste. The latter is optional, but is commonly found in Asian and specialty grocery stores. It’s worth having on hand for a variety of dishes, like these ultra-crunchy Korean chicken wings.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 35 mins
Ingredients
3

thick-cut slices bacon, cut into ½"-thin strips

1 1/2 c.

drained kimchi, roughly chopped

3

cloves garlic, minced

4 c.

water

2 c.

half-and-half

1 lb.

pasta shells

1 tbsp.

gochujang (optional)

2 tsp.

kosher salt

2 c.

freshly grated Parmesan

Thinly sliced scallions, for serving

Toasted sesame seeds, for serving

Directions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and fat has rendered, 10 minutes.
  2. Empty all but about 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pot and add kimchi and garlic. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until garlic is fragrant and most of the moisture has evaporated from the kimchi, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add water, half-and-half, pasta, gochujang (if using), and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan until melted.
  4. Top with scallions and sesame seeds before serving.
PHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: SIMON ANDREWS
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