For a vegetarian side, omit the bacon and use a large onion instead of medium. Sauté it in a little olive oil. Salt the mashed plantains to replace the saltiness that would have come from the bacon.
4 very ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1. In a medium saucepan, cover plantains with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until plantains are soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet, add bacon, and begin to brown. When bacon is crisp, add diced onion and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings in pan.
3. Drain and mash plantains with potato masher. Gently fold in bacon and onion, transfer to platter or bowl, and serve warm.