Thursday, March 4, 2010

Better With Bacon

Somehow I feel if there is slab bacon in the house we will always have something for dinner. And, the bacon from Nueske's is so insanely delicious (yes there really is a difference) that I could serve boiled cardboard with lardons of the Wisconsin smokehouse's specialty and still get rave reviews. In short it is the perfect ingredient when creativity wanes, James is hungry and we need dinner in a hurry. Salad, spaghetti, meatballs, soups, macaroni and cheese -- let's face it, bacon makes it better.
Tonight's quick fix was bacon and onions cooked slowly in a bit of olive oil with a sprinkling of fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, black pepper and garlic. I let that cook while the water boiled (and the pasta cooked) until the bacon was nice and crisp. Halfway through the pasta cooking I added a couple handfuls of chopped broccoli and let the spaghetti and vegetables continue cooking together. After I drained the pasta (and reserved a cup of the pasta cooking water -- kitchen gold I tell you!) I put the spaghetti, broccoli, bacon mixture, the reserved cooking water and a heavy mound of grated parmesan and hard goat's cheese into the cooking pot and gave it a stir over medium heat until the cheese had melted into a light (if you can call anything about a dish with this much pig in it "light") sauce. Season with salt and serve, sprinkled with a bit more grated cheese.
A hurry up weeknight dinner -- courtesy of the "gateway meat."

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