Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the mixture is brick red, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, add 1 cup of the cooking water to the skillet with the sauce; stir and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and add to the skillet along with the butter and herbs. Cook, tossing, until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Divide among bowls and top with cheese. Photograph by Andrew Purcell
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
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