Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs for Two

Dinner, Pasta | January 31, 2015 | By

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

It’s 19 degrees outside right now with snow covering everything, but inside it’s toasty warm and smells like bacon and herbs.  Smelling fresh herbs in the winter makes me happy!  Smelling bacon ALWAYS makes me happy!  🙂

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

Easy weeknight meals also makes me happy but I also don’t want to sacrifice flavor for ease.  This recipe delivers on both.  Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs are a wonderful combination and the flavors are so well balanced.  The lemon juice at the end really helps to brighten it all up.  Browning cauliflower in a skillet develops its flavors and cooks off some of the water to keep it from becoming mushy. 

Bacon, Breadcrumbs, Cauliflower

Cooking the pasta in a small amount of water skips the draining step and makes a creamy sauce as the pasta cooks. Topping the pasta with bacon-flavored bread crumbs adds texture and another layer of flavor.

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two
Serves 2
Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs come together in this recipe for an easy week-night meal.
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  2. 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  3. 2 tsp vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets
  5. 1 onion chopped fine
  6. 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  7. 1/2 pound ziti rigati (or any ridged pasta)
  8. 2 3/4 cup chicken broth
  9. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  10. 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  11. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add panko and 1/4 tsp pepper and stir until browned and well coated, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
  3. Add 2 tsp. oil into empty skillet and heat until shimmering, add the cauliflower and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until browned in spots and crisp-tender, 7-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to high, add pasta, broth, and wine, and bring to simmer. Cook pasta, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower. Taste to see if additional salt and pepper is needed and serve, passing the bacon-breadcrumb mixture.
Notes
  1. If the pasta seems dry add 2 tbsp of hot water.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage for Two

Dinner, Pasta | December 6, 2014 | By

Butternut squash and sage are two ingredients that say winter to me and I love them both, but together they are a marriage made in heaven! Add bacon and you’ve got a happy little family of yummy flavors!

Cooking the sage in the rendered bacon fat makes the perfect herb infused oil for sauteing the squash. 

Sage

There are a few tricks to coaxing the most flavor out of butternut squash and one is caramelizing it. It helps to dry out some of the wateriness of the squash and brings out some of its inherent sweetness, adding butter and sugar help to bring out the sweet nutty notes of the squash even more.
The scallions add some brightness to the dish and the nutmeg adds just the right spice or earthiness to the dish. Adding parmesan and a little lemon juice at the end along with toasted almonds for some textural crunch really brings the whole dish together!

Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta for Two

Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage for Two
Serves 2
A perfect winter-time meal that is comforting and so full of flavor!
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  2. 4 large fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon minced
  3. 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  4. 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  5. 3 scallions, sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
  6. 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  8. Table salt and ground black pepper
  9. 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  10. 1/2 pound penne or other short, tubular pasta
  11. 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  12. 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  13. 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and reserve.
  2. Cook whole sage leaves in rendered fat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove sage leaves and reserve.
  3. Return infused bacon fat in skillet and turn to high heat adding olive oil to make one TBSP of oil if needed and heat until shimmering.
  4. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3-4 minutes longer.
  5. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook 1-3 mintues or until squash is tender,
  7. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer back to Dutch oven.
  8. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve with the sliced almonds and more parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. I double this recipe for company!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Easy Hearty Omelette for Two

Breakfast, Eggs | October 26, 2014 | By

I have to admit, I’m not very good at making omelettes!  Folding one side over the other, making sure they are actually done in the center, keeping the filling INSIDE the omelette, it’s all just too much for me!  This omelette is just as good as any I’ve ever eaten and SO much easier!!  The best thing about this omelette (besides the ingredients) is that it’s BAKED in the oven!  No folding required!  It’s filled with potatoes, onion and bacony-cheesey goodness!  This serves two very hearty servings so bring your appetite for this one! 

The first thing you’ll do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Get out your bacon and cut in 1-inch slices crosswise.  (I use my kitchen shears for this)  Get the bacon going in an 8-inch oven proof saute pan until nice and brown.  Dice up your onions and chop the potatoes while the bacon cooks.  Also go ahead and dice up the cheese and grate a little for the top for later. 

Potatoes, Onions, Pepper

Drain the bacon on paper towels and then discard the bacon fat.  No need to wash the pan though, just add the butter to the pan and also go ahead and spray the pan with nonstick spray, even if it is non-stick.  I find it’s much easier to get the omelette out and looking pretty if you spray it first.  After the butter melts add the potato and onion.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and the potato is tender but firm. Add the jalapeno pepper and cook for 1 minute. 

While the potato mixture cooks, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together with a fork, in a medium bowl.  Stir in the scallions and diced cheddar.
 
 
Omelette mixture in bowl
 
When the potato is cooked, add the bacon to the pan and pour over the egg mixture. Place the pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the omelette puffs and the eggs are almost cooked in the center. Sprinkle with a handful of grated Cheddar and bake for another minute.
 
 
Easy Hearty Omelette for Two-Pan
 
Divide the omelette down the middle and carefully lift out of the pan.  Ta-da!  Two perfect, EASY omelettes! 
 
Easy Hearty Omelette for Two
Easy Hearty Omelette for Two
Serves 2
A hearty omelette for two that you bake in the oven! Filled with potatoes, bacon and cheesey goodness!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon
  2. 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (if you use salted butter add less salt to this recipe!)
  3. 1 cup medium diced potato (I used red potatoes, you don't need to peel them)
  4. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  5. 1 Tbsp minced jalopeno pepper (half a pepper unless you like it extra hot)
  6. 6 large eggs
  7. 2 Tbsp half and half or milk
  8. 1 tsp kosher salt (if you use table salt then use only 3/4 of a tsp)
  9. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1/4 cup chopped scallions, both white and green parts
  11. 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, diced, plus extra grated cheese, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the bacon crosswise in 1-inch slices.
  3. Cook the bacon in an 8-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  4. Drain the bacon on paper towels and discard the fat from the pan.
  5. Add the butter to the pan, and then add the potato and onion.
  6. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and the potato is tender but firm. Add the jalapeno pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together with a fork in a medium bowl.
  8. Stir in the scallions and diced cheddar.
  9. Add the bacon to the pan and pour over the egg mixture once the potato is cooked.
  10. Place the pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the omelet puffs and the eggs are almost cooked in the center.
  11. Sprinkle with a handful of grated Cheddar and bake for another minute. Serve hot.
Notes
  1. If you like very little salt in your food then cut back on the salt added. Remember that the bacon and cheese bring some salty flavor to the food already.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Adapted from Ina Garten
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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‘B-L-T’ Pasta for Two

Dinner, Pasta | October 20, 2014 | By

 

BLT Pasta1

I love pasta dishes!  They are so quick to put together and so comforting to eat!  This one is reminiscent of a BLT in that it has bacon, spinach and tomato and also a few garlic toasted bread crumbs on top to mimic the bread.  I think this tastes a lot better though!

blt pasta top down

Caramelized tomatoes give the sauce deep flavor, and the leeks add sweetness.  The garlic crumbs on top are optional, but they add fabulous texture to the dish.   If you’re not familiar with leeks be sure to slice only the white parts and throw away the green as it is too tough to eat, also be sure to swish the sliced leeks around in a large bowl full of cold water to clean them, they can sometimes be gritty.  Lift the leeks out of the water with a slotted spoon.  If you pour the leeks into a strainer you’re just dumping the grit back on them.  I just love leeks!  They are more mellow than green onions and give such a lovely flavor to the sauce.   Serve this with Orange and Red Onion Salad and some of the Italian bread you used to make crumbs.   I hope you love it as much as we do! 

closer shot of blt pasta

'B-L-T' Pasta for Two
Serves 2
Bacon, Spinach and Tomato Bucatini with garlic bread crumbs.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
FOR THE GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 cup italian bread cubes
  3. 1 tsp. olive oil
  4. salt to taste
FOR THE PASTA
  1. 2 strips bacon diced
  2. 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  3. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  4. 1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
  5. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  6. 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  7. 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  8. 1/3 tsp. red pepper flakes
  9. 4 oz. dry bucatini or spaghetti
  10. 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed
  11. 1/4 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Mince garlic for the bread crumbs in a food processor. Add cubed bread and process until coarse.
  3. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium; add crumbs and toast until golden, 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. Cook bacon for the pasta in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings.
  5. Caramelize tomatoes and sugar in drippings over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes begin to brown; about 5 minutes. Add leeks and saute until wilted, 3-4 minutes.
  6. Deglaze skillet with wine; simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Simmer until liquid is reduced by a third or about 5 minutes.
  7. Cook spaghetti in boiling water according the package directions.
  8. Add spinach, thyme, and cooked bacon to the tomato mixture. Transfer cooked pasta from cooking water to the skillet using tongs.
  9. Toss to coat; season with salt if desired. Divide pasta among plates and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Adapted from Cuisine At Home
Adapted from Cuisine At Home
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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