Bacon Kale Tomato Pasta
* 1 tablespoon plus 3/8 tsp. kosher salt, divided
* 10 ounces penne pasta
* 4-6 pieces pre-cooked bacon, diced
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
* 5 ounces kale, coarsely chopped
* 1 ounce Romano cheese, grated
1. Bring a large saucepan filled with water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
2. Add olive oil to a pan and place over medium heat. Add tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and almost melt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in half of the cooked bacon.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add pasta to pan; toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid and watercress, stirring until watercress wilts. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to pan as needed to loosen sauce. Divide pasta mixture among 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top servings evenly with remaining half of bacon and cheese.