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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cooking with Banshee: Smoky Bacon Spaghetti

With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror and the Daytona 500 still more than a week away, we are in a bit of a lull in terms of must-see sports on TV.  I figured I would take this opportunity to share a recipe that isn't necessarily game day fare.  In its current form, this recipe is part Giada De Laurentis, part Uncle Joe Mattes and, of course, part Wild Banshee.

Serves 6-8

2 lbs trimmed asparagus
3/4 lb thin spaghetti
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz center cut bacon, diced
6 oz mozzarella, grated
3 Tbs liquid smoke
6 Tbs fresh basil, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling, salted water until crisp-tender.  Approximately 2-3 minutes.  Remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and place asparagus in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  When cool, cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Return the pot of water to a boil.  Additional water may be needed.  Cook spaghetti until al dente.  Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Cook the diced bacon in a skillet until crispy.  When finished, remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the garlic to the pan of bacon grease.  Sauté until fragrant.  Approximately 30 seconds.  Add asparagus pieces to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the pasta and, if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid.  Add the liquid smoke.  Toss to coat.  Add the bacon, mozzarella and basil.  Toss to combine all ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay or red Zinfandel.

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