Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Use What You've Got: Rustic Pasta

There are some weeks when I am scrappy in the kitchen. I look at what ingredients we have, and come up with something delicious to eat. Some days, the food is an epic failure, and usually I know it was not good when my husband has dessert or some cottage cheese after dinner. Last night, though, I really loved the flavor of what I made and will be altering this in the future, depending on what ingredients we have in the house.

Pasta (I used Whole wheat angel hair)
Garlic, miced
Fresh Tomatoes, diced
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Meat, diced (I used bacon, but any salami or sausage will do)
Italian spices
Optional: Splash of White Wine, Porcini mushrooms, grated Parmesan

I first heated about 1 Tbsp of olive oil and garlic in a deep skillet over medium heat. Next, I drained a little of the oil, and added diced bacon. I tried to keep the really fatty pieces out, so in total what you see is about four or five pieces of bacon. Turn the bacon pieces until they are browned.

While the bacon is cooking, dice two medium sized tomatoes. I also left out some of the seeds, as I wanted the tomatoes to stay chunky and not watery.

Once the bacon is browned, add the tomatoes and toss. 

Next, add whatever other ingredients you have lying around. I had dried Porcini mushrooms, so I added those, as well as some Italian seasoning. 

Next add about 4-5 Tbsp of lemon juice and a splash of white wine, and be sure to stir so that all the ingredients blend together. Simmer on medium-low so that the flavors can infuse into the lemon juice and wine.

While  it is simmering, boil a pot of water and add your pasta. I like whole wheat angel hair, but again, whatever you have in your house. Forgive the little floating green pieces in the water... I got excited with the parsley!

Here's a little trick... undercook the pasta by a minute or two. I love al dente pasta, but I even undercooked this by two minutes, so that I could add it to the sauce mixture to cook for additional time.

Once your sauce cooks down into a thicker sauce, turn the burner off or on low.

 Drain your undercooked pasta, and add it to the skillet.

Toss well and allow the pasta to sit in the sauce for another couple of minutes to soak up the juices and flavors.

Serve with a little grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy! I really loved this disk because the bacon (or any kind of meat) with the lemon juice, wine, and tomatoes really gave it that rustic Italian flavoring. The Porcini mushrooms also added a hint of richness to the dish. Definitely a great, easy dish for a cool fall night, and I can't wait to try other variations with different ingredients!


  1. omg. def going to try this. i was literally salivating as i scrolled down the page! i will come to any party you host

    mademoiselle mimi

  2. I'm drooling...That looks so amazing! I threw together a chicken chili last week with ingredients that I had on hand and it turned out great. Sometimes that's the most fun way to cook!

  3. I've been following your blog for a while but just yet decided to comment. Love it, I think this post is one of your best!!