Weeknights are tricky. The end of the day creeps up without notice, and often with nary a thought about what to eat for dinner. That's a night for this delicious pasta dish to come to the rescue.
Chances are you've got parmesan in your fridge somewhere, and if you don't keep bacon on hand it might be time to start. We also love the pre-cut pancetta cubes for this dish. Pasta can be any shape you have on hand, but we love it with reginette and its ruffled edges. On the subject of pasta, we must make a shameless plug for our friends at Valente Pasta who make some of the best artisanal pastas we've tried. Their linguine would make this sing!
The sweetness of the onion and the zest and juice of the lemon offset the salty richness of the bacon, and topped with a hefty grating of Parmesan you'll marvel at your culinary brilliance in less than 30 minutes from the time you walk in the door.
Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon
- In a large stockpot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil.
- Sauté the bacon with 1 T. of olive oil in a pan over medium heat
- When nicely browned, add the onion (or shallots) and sauté until soft.
- Add the asparagus (or broccoli or peas) and cook until bright green and tender.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water (add some salt) according to package instructions, and when it's done, drain and reserve 1 c. of the cooking liquid.
- Return the pasta to the pot, add the asparagus/bacon/onion mixture and stir.
- Add the zest and the lemon juice and enough of the reserved pasta liquid to help combine it well.
- Add the 1/2 c. of parmesan and plenty of cracked black pepper.
- Serve with crusty bread and remaining parmesan.