Friday, November 30, 2012

Fast Friday: Farfalle with bacon, beans, and kale

Have you ever been so focused on one food that it's all you can think about?  That you start trying to add it other dishes that are traditionally mixed with aforementioned ingredient?

When I tell you this ingredient, you're not going to be shocked.  Or overwhelmed. Not even whelmed.  (Brownie points to the first person to correctly identify that pop culture reference!)

Drumroll please... it's bacon!

Are you yawning?  Are you thinking things like "Tell me something I didn't already know, Katy,"?  Have your socks have become more secured on your feet?

I guess it's no secret that I love bacon.

However, here's something you certainly didn't know: bacon is not a regular resident in my fridge or freezer. It really should be.  Really, really should be.  But, it's not.  And I'm often cursing myself for not being a more frequent consumer of cured pork.

Because bacon makes everything better.

It certainly makes a breakfast of dippy eggs and toast anything but plain.

It punches up a boring lunch salad to something spectacular that actually tastes good! 

And, would you believe that bacon has even stuck its nose into bakeries and made itself at home?  Things cupcakes and waffles and chocolate have been swayed by the ultimate temptress, bacon!  Sweet mercy.  I can just picture myself, elbows covered in sugar, butter, and bacon grease... and I think it's about to render me speechless.

Eh?  Nah, just kidding.  I could talk forever about those three things.

But, I'll get back to the bacon.  Bacon was what I wanted.  So, I bought bacon.  And then I made plans for said bacon.

I was craving bacon but knew I had to incorporate it with other foods to create a real meal.  So I cooked it with some garlic and onions, steamed a bunch of bright kale, and tossed everything with beans and pasta.  How bad could that be?

So quick and so easy and so good!  Somehow I ended up with a totally balanced meal, chock full of vegetables and protein and tummy-pleasing pasta, that was bursting with the smell and taste of bacon!  This was definitely a going-back-for-seconds dinner.  Even a considering-returning-for-thirds.  Gulp.

If you've got roommates, spouses, or kids that are still wary of kale, this is the way to convert them into kale lovers for life. 

The bacon has it, folks!

And I need to have it around more often.  And so do you.  Get some bacon and makin' your day better!  (See?  Bacon even makes bad jokes a little better.)

One year ago: Black & white cookies
Two years ago: Molasses crinkle cookies
Three years ago: Restaurant review - Max Brenner's, NYC

Farfalle with Bacon, Beans, and Kale
(slightly adapted from this recipe)
-serves 4-5

A few notes: Spinach can be substituted for the kale.  And, you can always up the amount of bacon in this!  This reheats magically up to 3 days after making, too.

8 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 slices bacon, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) package fresh kale
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.  Heat a large pot oven over medium heat. Add bacon and onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until bacon is browned. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute.  Add seasoning, pepper, and broth to pan. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender.  Stir in pasta, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, and beans.  Serve and enjoy!

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