Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Bacon

When I was trying to come up with a Christmas List (or what should be called the "Things-I-don't-really-need-but-you're-asking-me-for-ideas-list-so-here-goes, it seems) last holiday season, I ended up getting excited about the possibility of actually getting something off of said list: foodie magazines. (Ok, and the chocolate/gold "Audrey" Coach purse below that I'd been stealthily caressing at the base exchange, but that's neither here-nor-there.)

I digress. My sister-in-law and her husband were kind enough to have subscribed me and hubby to a year's worth of Bon Appetit! When the first one came in the mail in February, opening the plastic wrapping was like opening a Wonkabar during the time of golden tickets. It was my first food magazine and the whole thing new and exciting: recipes with gorgeous accompanying pictures, restaurant reviews and, my personal favorite, the kind of "How'd They Do That?" section based on reader inquiries about restaurant dishes they've tried and want to recreate at home, sometimes with the exact recipe and sometimes with Bon Appetit's best guess.

After four months of magazines came, it was finally time to try one out. Now, that may sound like I was dragging my feet, but some of the recipes can be a little daunting, especially for a newbie like me. When I saw the cover of the May 2010 issue, I knew it was time. The bacon and asparagus were calling my name...

I was pleasantly surprised by the lemon's ability to take on a key role in the dish. It was a yummy medley of summer veggies, pasta and the ever-popular with one particular constant guest at Cafe Groenhout, bacon. Easy to prepare and in under an hour, I definitely recommend trying this one on a weeknight!

  • 12 oz. fettuccine (or penne)
  • 3 oz. bacon (or pancetta if you're feeling authentic), chopped
  • 1 1/4 lbs. asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1" pieces
  • 2 C shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained (or unthawed frozen peas or, my cheat-cheat, canned peas)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from the dark green parts
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 C heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
  1. Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 C pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon (or pancetta) in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon (pancetta) to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tsp drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; saute 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; saute until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 C pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 C Parmesan, cream, EVOO, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoons if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle bacon (pancetta), remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Et voila!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had the ingredients for this in my house so that I could make this for dinner tonight. It just screams SPRING!