Now that I’ve weighed everyone down with tales of pot roast and chocolate cobbler, here’s something on the (slightly) lighter side. This is a great pasta dish that you can easily modify to make it healthier (eliminate the bacon!). There’s no cream in it – just herbs and some olive oil. It’s really almost a pesto. I’ve made it a few times and my biggest recommendation is to not skimp on the herbs – the more there are, the better! Also, this tends to dry out so make sure you use enough pasta water to moisten the pasta, but not dilute the flavor of the herbs. Tricky, I know!
I made this for friends this past week and was able to get most of the dish ready in advance – process the herb oil, grate the cheese, cook/crumble the bacon – and all you have to do for guests is cook the pasta and mix together! I did add the grape tomatoes and it made for a fresh touch.
Summer Herb Spaghetti with Crumbled Bacon (recipe courtesy Rachael Ray)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Skip the bacon and add halved grape tomatoes or crumbled goat cheese.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, and transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, crumble into large pieces.
- While the pasta and bacon are cooking, using a food processor, puree 1/2 cup parsley, 1/2 cup basil, the olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons chives; season with salt and pepper.
- Add the herb oil, parmesan and reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to the pasta and toss. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup parsley and 1/4 cup basil and add to the pasta along with the crumbled bacon and remaining 2 tablespoons chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss.