“If bacon grew on trees, I’d be a vegetarian.”

May 9 – May 15, 2022

Monday:                   Devonshire Sandwich with leftover Chicken

Horse Chestnut in the hood

Tuesday:                   Larry Forgione’s Tasty Cobb Salad

Wednesday:            Orecchiette with Bacon, Lemon and Cream

Thursday:                 Grilled Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw

Friday:                       Baked Salmon with Rice with Rice Pilaf

Saturday:                  Central Catholic Forensic Society Reunion

Sunday:                     Barbecued Ribs with Beans and Coleslaw

“If bacon grew on trees, I’d be a vegetarian.”

I have no idea who said the above, but he or she is clearly a kindred soul.  In addition to our Sunday BLTs or Eggs and Bacon, we have incorporated bacon into many of our pasta dishes and not just carbonaras .  And last week, I came across an Alex Guarnaschelli recipe that, if humans were guppies and you allowed them unlimited servings, would wipe out half the human race.

Obviously, the salt and the heavy whap of umami that bacon imparts is a huge part of its appeal.  But there is something about the attraction of humans (and dogs) to bacon that seems almost mystical to me – a sort of pork piety that might be the basis for a new, albeit somewhat shallow religion.

Be that as it may (or may not) – you’ll want to try this recipe.

Orecchiette with Bacon, Lemon, and Cream

(adapted from A. Guarnaschelli, The Home Cook)

Timing:                                              About 35 minutes

Ingredients:                                           Feeds 6

12 slices bacon, cut into 2-inch strips.  Note: If you get thick-cut bacon from Giant Eagle, you’ll need only 10 slices and you’ll need to cook it longer (another 5 minutes?) to achieve the just crisp (not brittle) texture that is perfect with this dish.

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ cup sour cream (use full-fat, low fat won’t save you many calories)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 pound dried orecchiette pasta

½ cup minced chives

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prep:

Slice the bacon

Grate and juice the lemon

Mince the chives

Gather the other ingredients and get a large pot of salted water heating up (to cook the pasta)

Cook:

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high and add ½ cup of water and the bacon slices.  Cook until all of the water evaporates  and the bacon becomes crisp – 8 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.  Put the bacon on a paper towel to drain but reserve the fat in the pan.

In a large skillet, whip the heavy cream and sour cream together and season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.  Simmer over medium, whisking, until thickened – 7 or 8 minutes.  Now add the lemon zest, the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce.  Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of heavily salted, boiling water until just al dente.  Reserve 2 or 3 ladles of the pasta water.  Drain the pasta.

Now put the large skillet with thickened sauce back on the heat (medium) until it begins to simmer.  Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat it thoroughly.

Off the heat, let the pasta rest for a couple of minutes – taste for seasoning.  Now stir in the bacon, some or all of the reserved bacon fat, and the chives and add pasta water as needed to make a sauce that lightly coats the pasta.  Serve.