Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bacon, Pasta, and Power

Tonight was one of those nights I actually got some time to myself after work. I must admit it is a bit of a strange feeling.  The Boy is at school until 6:30 for driver's ed, Hubby has a class, and there was no rehearsal for the school production due to a meeting (that I didn't have to attend)!! What to do with that time??? I thought about having a nap but didn't think I would wake up until tomorrow morning. Instead I wandered over the the IGA by my house to browse the shelves and get some ingredients for dinner.  I had a recipe in the back of my head and had a quasi-mental list...okay, I confess, I checked a recipe in my new Jamie Oliver cook book and knew what I wanted to make.

The original inspiration for tonight's dinner was "mini shell pasta with a creamy smoked bacon and pea sauce". Such a long title but it was an easy peasy recipe and has bacon in it! Once I got to the store, I discovered that IGA didn't have fresh mint and things just got worse from there.  As I was at the dairy case, the power went out.  It did kind of throw me for a loop. It wasn't dark as it was actually still light out and there are windows but it still caused me to forget to grab some frozen peas and double check what I was getting as all the interact machines were down!

So I walked home from the powerless store to my powerless house and put my groceries away in my powerless fridge. With no power to cook supper, run the Internet, or heat the house I bundled up and walked over to my friend Marie's house.  We drank some beer so it wouldn't go bad....and she has three fabulous dogs that took turns sitting with me to keep me warm!!

The original recipe can be found on page 52 of Jamie Oliver's book Jamie's Food Revolution and calls for:
  • 10 slices smoked bacon
  • a small bunch of mint
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb mini shell pasta
  • olive oil
  • a pat of butter
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese
As some of you may know, I have issues following rules recipes so many times the recipe I start with is very different from what I actually cook.  I do like to use the recipes as a base idea and then add my own flair. The pasta dish I served up tonight included:
Printable recipe
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
  • basil
  • salt and pepper
  • rotini pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas (dug in the freezer and found some)
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic (because hey, it's garlic)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes in juice (I had some left over from the other day. I blitzed them with a hand blender first)
  • sauteed mushrooms and asparagus (these were left over from last night's dinner. They had been sauteed in garlic and were fan-freaking-tastic)
  • Parmesan cheese (I actually had some leftover from making the chicken fingers last week! It was about 1/2 a cup)
Put a pot of water on to boil, heat a skillet, and chop the bacon.

Saute the bacon until it is crisp. Drain the fat (or at least some of it).  Add the peas, mushrooms, and asparagus.  Also grate on a micro plane or use a press to add in the 2 cloves of garlic.  This is also a great place to add in a couple grinds of pepper.

To the pot of boiling water, add a hefty pinch of salt and plunk in the pasta.  Cook according to package directions.
Pour the tomatoes into the skillet along with some pinches of basil.  Let this boil down until the pasta is half cooked.

Add 2 tbsp of half and half to the skillet and stir.

Remove the pasta from the water and add it to the skillet.  Mix it all together and add the squeezings of half a lemon and the Parmesan cheese.

Serve with salad or veggies.

This dish received fabulous reviews from the boys and heated up nicely for Hubby when he got back from his class tonight.



FYI, the power did go back on just before 6pm, after 2 hours.  Apparently the hydro company had to shut off the power so they could fix a hydro pole fire issue. 

Until next time, stay warm and eat well.

Dreaming of sunny weather and blue waters...

1 comment:

  1. Glad it was only two hours. And I laughed at the part about drinking the beer so it wouldn't go bad.

    Glad you had a fun night.

    I'm off today soon to hit the market, but moving very slow. Nice to be home.


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