Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pasta Bianca

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I just really need some comfort food.  And when I crave comfort food, I throw caution to the wind.  Calories are shoved out the door (as they should be) and then I’m alone and able to curl up next to a big bowl of something yummy.  Today, it’s creamy, cheesy pasta.  Pasta Bianca, that is.  C’mon, it still has to have a fancy name – we’re not animals! 

Pasta Bianca is Campanelle pasta, (which is my new favorite kind of pasta that looks like a flower or cornucopia) tossed in a sinful and rich sauce made from bacon, onion and cream.  Campanelle is perfect for this dish because its shape protects and envelops all that delicious sauce.  This Pasta Bianca is the perfect comfort dish on a cold winter’s night.  Serve it with golden thyme biscuits and your evening just got a whole lot more comfortable.  

Campanelle Pasta - try it!  You'll love it.

This is what you'll need:  pasta, bacon, onion, cream, Parmesan & thyme.

½ lb. Campanelle Pasta
4 Slices bacon, cut into chunks
1 Medium onion
¾ C. cream (if I don’t have cream, I just use whole milk)
½ C. grated Parmesan
15 Sprigs of thyme (or 1 t. dried thyme)
Salt & Pepper

In a large pot, bring salted water to a bowl and throw in the pasta.  Cook until al dente, about 12-15 minutes.  Drain, but do not rinse. 

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat.  You want the bacon to be browned, but not too crunchy.  For this dish, chewy is better.  Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it on a paper towel to drain.  Leave the bacon grease in the skillet and add the onion.  Cook until the onion earns just a bit of color.  You don’t want them caramelized.  When you have reached that perfect stage just after translucence, add the cream and Parmesan.  Stir until its has formed a thick and luscious sauce.  Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper.  If it tastes grainy from the Parmesan, cook it a few minutes more. 

If there is enough room in your skillet, add the pasta right to it.  Toss to combine.  If not, just pour all that scrumptious sauce right into your pasta pot.  Garnish with more thyme and bacon and serve with thyme biscuits. 

*If you want even saucier pasta, splash some milk over the coated pasta and toss until it’s smooth.  

Try this new twist on biscuits.  Open a can of flaky biscuits and sprinkle them with fresh thyme.  Bake until they're golden brown.  The thyme gives them subtle flavor and rustic charm.  

1 comment:

  1. Variation: Deglaze your pan of onions with some white wine! Cook it down until it's almost gone and continue with the cream and the rest of the recipe! Just some added flavor and elegance.