Sometimes you just look into your fridge, shake your head, and close the door again. If you're like me, queen of often not planning in advance, this happens often. Too often in my case. I sometimes find when I get busy, odds and ends of things start to build up in my produce drawer. Finally, when it comes time where I must make something, I'm completely flummoxed over where to even start.
Luckily, I find that if you have bacon, you have the world at your fingertips. A little bacon, a little vegetable, and a little pasta, or maybe an egg and you're set. I had bacon, I had radishes, and I had a voice in my head saying, "If you never liked radishes, you haven't had them simply cooked in butter, salt, and pepper." OK, so it wasn't a voice. It was the writing of my friend Jane over at Food and Fiction. She, as usual with topics of the culinary variety, was right. I do like radishes in any form, but cook them in that butter and they transform.
A couple of quick housekeeping notes before this lovely recipe (that I'm envisioning making again once the temperature dips below 90 in the house and I want to turn my stove on once more) - You'll notice below I've started to include a printable recipe. Simply click on the link below the name there and you'll be transported (Harry Potter style, yes, I'm a dork) to a printable copy of the recipe. Over time, I'll try to create such links for all of my recipes if you'd like to go back and print them out. I also realize I've been slacking on my commitment to bring you "The Lighter Side of Local" each Sunday or Monday. Life, as I know all of you understand, can be hectic. I promise it will return with a vengeance this week.
Bacon and Radish Spaghetti
Serves: 4 smaller portions, or 2 massive bowls of pasta
This is a simple weeknight recipe that is addictive. Read through the entire recipe to start, because for a quick meal, you have to multitask here. The final result, while easy to get to, is impressive.
1/2 pound dried spaghetti
6 slices of your favorite bacon
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup sliced and then halved radishes
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Get your water boiling for the pasta, and cook it according to directions, drain and set aside, keeping it warm. However, while that pasta is cooking, do the following:
In a large skillet, start cooking up your bacon. You want this bacon cooked until it's crispy enough to crumble, so it holds up in the pasta. Once it is that crispy, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
Now, while the bacon and the pasta are cooking (I like to multitask) take a large, deep skillet or saute pan, and melt two tablespoons of your butter in it. Add your sliced radishes to the pan, spreading them out so they touch the butter, and cooking surface.
Once the radishes begin to get a touch translucent, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and your red pepper flakes. Continue cooking them, until tender. (this takes about 8-10 minutes or so).
Finally, crumble your bacon over the radishes and stir to combine. Allow to cook about 2 minutes together, and add your pasta to the deep skillet. Toss everything until well-mixed. Add your final tablespoon of butter and toss with the pasta mixture. Cook together for 2-3 minutes and then serve immediately with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.