Happy Chrissy

Here we are, edging towards Christmas, December whipping by in dutiful fashion, all of the hopes and freshness 2021 will surely bring rising like a sweet beacon on the horizon. Holy hell, this crazy year is almost over, gang!

I am on day one of four of my final days of quiet, before the 2.5 week Christmas break from school is upon us. Then my days will be filled with entertaining the little emperor with puppet shows and LEGO building and pretending I know how to make crafts, so really, the fact that I’m taking time to reach out to you fine people on one of my last days of freedom just shows the depths of my love.

We are fattening up for the holidays over here, and all rules and regulations have been kindly asked to take a hike, so my recipes won’t be of the Good For You variety until at least January when the guilt sets in. Also, guilt doesn’t last long in this body of mine, so try not to blink. Since we’re a tiny Christmas of three (five if you count dog and cat. Yes, cat. I caved), our annual giant turkey dinner will not be happening, because who cooks a turkey for three (five?) beings? Charlie has it in his mind that he’s going to go “hunting” and find us a “duck”, but while waiting for hell to freeze over, I’ll be on the hunt for gluttonous and celebratory dinner options to commemorate Christmas 2020. Carbs and cheese and fat, specifically. So share your favourites. Who needs actual pants? No one, that’s who!

Sometimes in my stumbling through the pantry, trying to figure out a dinner on the fly with the ingredients we’ve got, I end up with a real gem. This pasta is my own take on amatriciana basically, but since the Italians like to bite my head off in my DMs on Instagram, just to be safe, I’m going to refer to this simply as Bacon Pasta. Okay, my Italian friends? Just a made up yummy thing. Not at all authentic. Everything is fine.

You can of course go traditional and use pancetta instead of bacon in this recipe. It’s just that our market out here in the sticks never has any, so I broke out the thick cut smoked bacon instead and I ended up loving it even more? I use egg fettuccine here as well, since that’s what we had, and the delicious butteriness it gave the dish really took things to the next level. I highly recommend some homemade garlic bread on the side for mopping up bacon-y sauce, and maybe a simple green salad so your doctors don’t also slide into my DMs.

Bacon Pasta

Ingredients:

1 lb egg fettuccine

6 slices thick cut bacon

1 14 oz can plum tomatoes

1 red onion, halved and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp sugar

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated (don’t buy that powdered stuff, you can taste the difference, trust me)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Reserve a cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop the bacon into one inch pieces and add to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until browned, then add the garlic and onion and reduce the heat to medium. Sautee everything for 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and break them up into large chunks with a wooden spoon as you stir. Add the sugar, red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper to taste.

Add a ladle full of the reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce a bit. Stir in the cooked pasta and toss everything around. Turn the heat off and sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Sprinkle with half of the chopped basil.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, the remaining basil, some salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Divide the pasta into dishes and scoop a spoonful of the ricotta mixture on top. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil to finish. EASY and SO GOOD!

Serves 4

11 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    I felt that salad comment! We just had some feel good white cheddar shells and cheese with smokehouse sausage… with salad to quash guilt 😄 Let’s get through this year of Hell, then worry about people pleasing later. Stay safe shiny family!

  2. kat. says:

    That looks/sounds awesome! Got to try it. We make our own bacon, so will have to wait until I have some on hand, but then…

    Thanks!

    Happy Yule to all.

  3. Mandy says:

    Looks yum! Happy holiday break! And for our teensy Thanksgiving this year we just spatchcocked a chicken (easier than roasting one), and we’ll prolly do the same for Christmas 🤷‍♀️

    Anything that makes things easier and still fun + yummy is a win this year, I think.

  4. Rachel says:

    So grateful. You had me at Bacon Pasta. Going to finish 2020 with this and enjoy every bit and I hope you enjoy yours!

  5. Phillip+Parker says:

    I feel you on catching heat for it not being an actual authentic thing, a couple of my Chef buddies nearly had a stroke when I told them about my Spam Carbonara experiment (which was DELICIOUS)… Thanks again for the Cameo… Doing great here, all the kids will be here for Christmas as well as the in-laws so no getting out of the big feast here… A duck, a ham and tamales are all on the agenda between now and NYE..

    Have the Merriest of Christmases, Lots of love to your Hubby and your amazingly talented little photographer…and to Charlotte and the kitty (name TBD)

  6. Nannig says:

    Argh I’m so annoyed by recipes ayatollahs, like everyone was doing the exact same recipe without it being written down in the past. No everyone was doing as they could with what they had access to and sometimes it wasn’t much. There is not one ragu recipe, why should there be ONE carbonara or ONE amatricciana ? (And it’s not only the italians dishes ofc)
    So GG in adapting a recipe to your local products! And it looks tasty, thanks for sharing!

  7. Ann Marie Peltier says:

    I’m Italian and this recipe looks amazing! For as long as I can remember (I’m fifty years young), our Christmas meals were homemade pasta and ravioli (it took mom a longggg time to make), along with fresh-made sauce, and sausage that my dad made and stuffed from scratch. They’re the best memories! This year will be different, but my motto for the dumpster fire that 2020 has dealt us is to enjoy EVERY moment! Even the not-so-great ones. Merry Christmas to you and your little family of five (I’m including the dog and the cat because they ARE family), and wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! xoxo

  8. Phredd says:

    We’ve got four teen+ kids in addition to the pair of us, so we’ll be going with a large bird of some sort for Christmas itself. My wife is angling for goose, since we did a turkey for the official T-day. I like turkey better, but I’m kinda thinking she’ll get her way. But however that works out, we’ve still got two weeks’ worth of eating to plan for. I’m guessing we can sneak some bacon in there.

  9. Jess says:

    Looks delicious! I just wanted to throw in my two cents and say my husband and I cook a small turkey every year for the two of us, and it’s not necessarily that much harder than roasting a large chicken. We do all the sides as well, and even bake a ham! We eat the leftovers for the next week. And a turkey, ham and leek pie with puff pastry is a thing of beauty 👌🤤😋

  10. jon spencer says:

    Try guanciale as a replacement for the bacon.
    It is almost the same, but a slightly different flavor.

  11. Jennifer says:

    If there’s bacon around, you may enjoy a traditional Danish dish: Brændende Kærlighed (burning love). Diced bacon and onion over mashed potatoes – genius! 😁

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